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Surface potential mapping of an argon lamp during electrical breakdown

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6 Author(s)
Gendre, M.F. ; Dept. of Appl. Phys., Eindhoven Univ. of Technol., Netherlands ; Bowden, M.D. ; van den Nieuwenhuizen, H.C.M. ; Haverlag, M.
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In this paper, we present measurements related to the early stages of electrical breakdown occurring in a low-pressure argon straight discharge tube. A capacitive probe was used to retrieve the evolution of the lamp electrostatic potential over time and space. The potential and calculated electric field, displayed in space-time diagrams, show that a region of strong potential gradient propagates from the cathode toward the anode and then backward. This is followed by a homogenization of the electric field in the inter-electrode space.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 2 )