In this paper, we investigated the electron Debye scale Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability using two-dimensional electrostatic particle-in-cell simulations. We introduced a velocity shear layer with a thickness comparable to the electron Debye length and examined the generation of the KH instability. The KH instability occurs in a similar manner as observed in the KH instabilities in fluid or ion scales producing surface waves and rolled-up vortices. The strength and growth rate of the electron Debye scale KH instability is affected by the structure of the velocity shear layer. The strength depends on the magnitude of the velocity and the growth rate on the velocity gradient of the shear layer. However, the development of the electron Debye scale KH instability is mainly determined by the electric field generated by charge separation. Significant mixing of electrons occurs across the shear layer, and a fraction of electrons can penetrate deeply into the opposite side fairly far from the vortices across the shear layer.
Electron Debye scale Kelvin-Helmholtz instability: Electrostatic particle-in-cell simulations
Sang-Yun Lee, Ensang Lee, Khan-Hyuk Kim, Dong-Hun Lee, Jongho Seon, Ho Jin; Electron Debye scale Kelvin-Helmholtz instability: Electrostatic particle-in-cell simulations. Phys. Plasmas 1 December 2015; 22 (12): 122113. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4938201
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