The nonlinear nature of the rf absorption in a helicon-produced plasma was recently evidenced by the observation that the helicon wave damping as well as the level of short-scale electrostatic fluctuations excited in the helicon plasma increases with rf power. Correlation methods using electrostatic probes as well as microwave back-scattering at the upper-hybrid resonance allow identifying the fluctuations as ion-sound and Trivelpiece Gould waves satisfying the frequency and wavenumber matching conditions for the parametric decay instability of the helicon pump wave. Furthermore, the growth rates and thresholds deduced from their temporal growth are in good agreement with theoretical predictions for the parametric decay instability that takes into account realistic damping rates for the decay waves as well as a non-vanishing parallel wavenumber of the helicon pump. The close relationship between the rf absorption and the excitation of the fluctuations was investigated in more detail by performing time- and space-resolved measurements of the helicon wave field and the electrostatic fluctuations.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion|
|Publication status||Published - May 2007|