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Fast Time Analysis of Intermittent Point‐to‐Plane Corona in Air. III. The Negative Point Trichel Pulse Corona

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Fast oscilloscopic time analysis of the negative point Trichel pulse corona in room air at various pressures and gap geometries reveals the following data. The very short rise and quenching time of the pulse at atmospheric pressure observed by English is confirmed. Under these conditions the secondary action is a photoelectric liberation from the cathode and discharge extinguishes by dissociative attachment to give O- ions. Decreasing pressures reduces space charge density, prolongs the discharge and brings in a secondary liberation by positive ion bombardment. Increasing potential at constant pressure at first decreases clearing time, leaving pulses unchanged and current increases proportional to repeat rate. At higher potentials, photon action is reduced relative to positive ion impact at the cathode, the discharge extends further into the gap, and quenching is very effective with less total ions reducing pulse size. With increasing repeat rate, current no longer increases proportional to repeat rate in consequence of smaller pulse height. The effects of increased point diameter are increased pulse size. Comparable clearing times for large and small points require higher potentials for the former. Thus, at constant pressure and potential, increase in point radius produces a decrease in frequency and increase in total charge per pulse. Conditioning of the point at high‐current densities and repeat rates decreases the number of ions per pulse, which is of the order of 109 under normal circumstances, and shortens the pulse by reducing cathode work function and increasing photoelectric liberation, so that choking occurs with little ion action. Since repeat rate is slightly decreased by the charge liberation, the reduced pulse charge yields a reduced current through a conditioning that decreases work function. Comparison of ion movement across the gap during clearing time, with that for O2+ ions of known mobility in a- ir, indicates that the rapid ion transit in Trichel pulses is caused by a majority of O- ions with a mobility of about 4 cm2/volts second from near the cathode with some formation of O2- ions in transit.

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 5 )