A continuum approach for multipactor using Vlasov-Poisson analysis

L. Silvestre, Z. C. Shaw, T. Sugai, J. Stephens, J. J. Mankowski, J. Dickens, A. A. Neuber, R. P. Joshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multipactor is studied based on the coupled Vlasov-Poisson equation set and applied to a parallel plate geometry. This approach can be considered complementary to the particle-in-cell (PIC) methods that have provided excellent insight into multipactor behavior. However, PIC methods have limitations in terms of 'particle noise,' which can affect electron energy distribution functions and create re-scaling issues under conditions of charge growth. Utilizing our continuum Vlasov-Poisson approach yields susceptibility curves that are in line with reports in the literature, Spark3D PIC simulations, and experimental data. Playing to the strength of the Vlasov-Poisson approach, the differences between various multipactor orders are elucidated as they are observed in phase-space, revealing electron density dynamics without requiring increased computational resources due to electron growth. The method presented is general and can be extended to multi-input excitations and higher-dimensional phase-space.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045202
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 27 2022


  • Vlasov-Poisson analysis
  • multipactor
  • secondary electron emission
  • waveguide


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