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Thermionic Cathode Electron Gun for High Current Densities

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2 Author(s)

An electron gun using lanthanum hexaboride (LaB6) as a cathode material is being studied for use as a robust thermionic emitter at high cathode current densities. It has a standard planar cathode, Pierce-type electron gun design with a space-charge-limited perveance of 3.2 × 10-6 A/V3/2. Thus far it has been operated up to 36 kV in the space-charge-limited regime. The cathode is heated by electron bombardment and radiation from an auxiliary tungsten filament. The total heating requirement is found to be 202 W/cm2 of cathode area at a cathode temperature of 1626°C. These observations are found to be in reasonable agreement with a thermal steady-state power balance model. Beam current distribution measurements are made with a movable collector and Faraday cup, and are found to be in agreement with an electron-gun computer code. The cathode temperature distribution is also measured.

Published in:

Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Aug. 1987

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