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The temporal development of hollow cathode discharges

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4 Author(s)
Ngo, M.T. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Old Dominion Univ., Norfolk, VA, USA ; Schoenbach, K.H. ; Gerdin, Glenn A. ; Lee, J.H.

The temporal development of hollow cathode discharges was studied by means of electrical and optical diagnostic techniques. The results indicate that the discharge develops in two stages. The initial breakdown occurs along the longest straight path of the system, i.e. from the anode to the bottom of the cathode hole. This predischarge is confined to a narrow filament along the axis and carries a current of up to hundreds of milliamperes. The resulting distortion of the electric field in the cathode hole is assumed to cause a radial breakdown from the filamentary plasma on the axis to the edge of the cathode hole. After this second breakdown, an increase in current by more than three orders of magnitude is observed. Measurements with axial magnetic fields support the two-stage model

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 3 )