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Formulas are developed which define the profile of the electrostatic potential distribution in the semi‐infinite, space‐charge‐filled region between a plane emitter of secondary electrons and a parallel retarding‐field control grid. The calculation assumes a known secondary‐electron energy distribution and a cosine angular distribution. In practical application, the formulas must be evaluated numerically or graphically since the energy distribution cannot be expressed analytically except over limited regions. A method of determining the critical spacing between electrodes which will prevent formation of a space‐charge‐induced minimum in the potential distribution between the emitter and control grid is presented.