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Emission uniformity and emittance of explosive field-emission cathodes

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8 Author(s)
Shiffler, D.A. ; Air Force Res. Lab., Kirtland, NM, USA ; Ruebush, M. ; Zagar, D. ; LaCour, M.
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Explosive field-emission cathodes as well as plasma-flashover cathodes are important for high-power microwave tubes. These cathodes have the advantage of being lightweight as well as requiring no heater for electron emission. However, this class typically suffers from large amounts of outgassing, nonuniform emission, and very high emittance. In this paper, we review research into the uniformity and emittance of tufted carbon-fiber cathodes that have been coated with cesium iodide (CsI) salt. The CsI cathode is compared to polymer velvet, metal-dielectric, and carbon-slat cathodes. We find the uniformity and emittance are related for all of these cathodes. In general, the more uniform the electron emission, the lower the emittance of the cathode. This article shows that given proper diode design, the tufted carbon-fiber cathode with CsI has some promise as an electron emitter producing a good quality electron beam.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 4 )