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Miniaturized liquid metal ion sources (MILMIS)

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1 Author(s)
Mitterauer, J. ; Inst. fur Allgemeine Elektrotech. und Elektronik, Tech. Univ., Wien, Austria

Introductory remarks are given on ion sources, and basic features of liquid-metal ion sources (LMISs) are outlined. A special by-product of field-emission electric space propulsion by a liquid metal ion thruster is the slit emitter, which may be qualified as a semiminiaturized LMIS. The state-of-the-art technology of field-emitter arrays common in vacuum microelectronics is presented in view of the fabrication of miniaturized, integrated, liquid-metal ion sources (MILMISs). The possibility of operation of these devices even in the field-emission mode as miniaturized liquid-metal electron sources (MILMESs) is discussed. An outlook is given on prospective applications of MILMISs and MILMESs, including micromachining and microelectronic device technology (e.g., focused ion-beam techniques), space technology (e.g., ion thrusters with integrated neutralizers), and pulsed power technology (e.g., high-power switching and ion beam sources for inertial confinement fusion)

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 5 )