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Low-loss, high-repetition-rate vacuum switching

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3 Author(s)
Dougal, R.A. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., South Carolina Univ., Columbia, SC, USA ; Morris, G., Jr. ; Volakakis, G.D.

The theory and design of a trigatron-configuration vacuum switch are presented. When operated with a series saturable inductor element it functions effectively as a high-repetition-rate closing switch for pulsed power applications. This switch configuration allows one to fully exploit the advantages inherent to a vacuum switch, such as high voltage standoff, wide triggering range, potentially fast recovery, and high repetition rate, while circumventing the disadvantages, namely, poor turn-on performance, large jitter, high-power dissipation, and inconsistent recovery performance. The resulting hybrid switch is capable of high-performance, high-repetition-rate operation. A device of this type has successfully switched multikiloampere current pulses of submicrosecond duration at voltages greater than 40 kV. Compared to an unassisted triggered vacuum gap, a better current risetime was obtained, power dissipation was reduced by 90%, pulse reproducibility was better, a more uniform conduction channel was achieved, microparticle ejection was eliminated, and electrode erosion was significantly reduced. The switch has been operated at pulse repetition rates in excess of 10 kpps

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