The "self-shielding" m = 1 diocotron mode in Malmberg-Penning traps has been known for over a decade to be unstable for finite length non-neutral plasmas with hollow density profiles. Early theoretical efforts were unsuccessful in accounting for the exponential growth and/or the magnitude of the growth rate. Recent theoretical work has sought to resolve the discrepancy either as a consequence of the shape of the plasma ends or as a kinetic effect resulting from a modified distribution function as a consequence of the protocol used to form the hollow profiles in experiments. Both of these finite length mechanisms have been investigated in selected test cases using a three-dimensional particle-in-cell code that allows realistic treatment of shape and kinetic effects. A persistent discrepancy of a factor of 2-3 remains between simulation and experimental values of the growth rate. Simulations reported here are more in agreement with theoretical predictions and fail to explain the discrepancy.
(c) 2002 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in The Journal of Chemical Physics and may be found at http://link.aip.org/link/?PHPAEN/9/3217/1;