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Classification of the Operating Modes of Hot-Cathode Parallel-Plane Plasma Diodes

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2 Author(s)

Many specialized theoretical and experimental studies have been carried out on noble-gas plasma diodes in order to determine the operating characteristics of a particular mode. Even though the modes of cesium plasma diodes have been characterized rather completely by Bullis, no comparable summary has been developed for noble-gas systems. In this paper, the operation of hotcathode parallel-plane plasma diodes is reviewed and the characteristics of the anode-glow, ball-of-fire, Langmuir, temperature-limited, low-voltage arc, and tufted-anode modes are classified and discussed in terms of the volt-ampere characteristics for different load lines. The operation of noble-gas diodes is compared to that of cesium diodes and the interpretation of the volt-ampere characteristic is related to available experimental data. The visual characteristics of each mode are also displayed to aid in the interpretation of the behavior. The correlation between theory and a variety of experiments substantiates the contention that the limitation imposed on the diode current by the cathode is responsible for the previous confusion about the various modes of operation.

Published in:

Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:11 ,  Issue: 3 )

Date of Publication:

Sept. 1968

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