An electron generating device extracts electrons, through an electron sheath, from plasma produced using RF fields. The electron sheath is located near a grounded ring at one end of a negatively biased conducting surface, which is normally a cylinder. Extracted electrons pass through the grounded ring in the presence of a steady state axial magnetic field. Sufficiently large magnetic fields and/or RF power into the plasma allow for helicon plasma generation. The ion loss area is sufficiently large compared to the electron loss area to allow for total non-ambipolar extraction of all electrons leaving the plasma. Voids in the negatively-biased conducting surface allow the time-varying magnetic fields provided by the antenna to inductively couple to the plasma within the conducting surface. The conducting surface acts as a Faraday shield, which reduces any time-varying electric fields from entering the conductive surface, i.e. blocks capacitive coupling between the antenna and the plasma.
The subject matter of this application was made with U.S. Government support awarded by the following agencies: NASA Glenn Research Center, Grant NNC04GA82G and U.S. Department of Energy, Grant DEFG0297ER54437. The United States has certain rights in this invention.