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Current filamentation of strongly preionized high pressure glow discharges in Ne/Xe/HCl mixtures

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2 Author(s)
Dreiskemper, R. ; Inst. fur Plasmaphys., Hannover Univ., Germany ; Botticher, W.

The formation of intense current filaments, destroying the homogeneity of the active laser volume, limits the energy extraction from XeCl-lasers. Using time-resolved spectrally integrated pictures, the morphology and temporal development of such filaments are studied. The time scale of this process is found to be controlled by HCl depletion. With strong preionization (ne>109/cm 3) and a fast (10 ns) rising discharge voltage applied at the end of the preionizing X-ray pulse, the filaments originate from hotspots formed in the cathode layer. The shot by shot statistics of spot formation on freshly prepared cathodes reveal that hotspots are not caused by streamers developing in the high field region of strongly reduced electron density built up by electron diffusion during formation of the cathode sheath. Unexpectedly, a large number of weak diffuse filaments are found in spotless discharges (current density 300 A/cm2; duration 200 ns), in spite of the strong preionization

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:23 ,  Issue: 6 )