Kinetic Theory and Vlasov Simulation of Nonlinear Ion-Acoustic Waves in Multi-Ion Species Plasmas
The theory of damping and nonlinear frequency shifts from particles resonant with ion-acoustic waves (IAWs) is presented for multi-ion species plasma and compared to driven wave Vlasov simulations. Two distinct IAW modes may be supported in multi-ion species plasmas, broadly classified as fast and slow by their phase velocity relative to the constituent ion thermal velocities. In current fusion-relevant long pulse experiments, the ion to electron temperature ratio, T-i/T-e, is expected to reach a level such that the least damped and thus more readily driven mode is the slow mode, with both linear and nonlinear properties that are shown to differ significantly from the fast mode. The lighter ion species of the slow mode is found to make no significant contribution to the IAW frequency shift despite typically being the dominant contributor to the Landau damping.