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Study of field-induced explosive electron emission mechanisms of pseudospark superemission cathodes

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3 Author(s)
Junbiao Zhu ; Inst. of High Energy Phys., Acad. Sinica, Beijing, China ; Wang, Zhijiang ; Jiejia Zhuang

Various mechanisms of electron emission, including the field, field-enhanced thermionic, and explosive electron emissions from pseudospark cathodes, are discussed and compared. The mechanism of the field-induced explosive electron emission due to microstructure on the cathode surface is considered to be more likely the pseudospark superemissive mechanism. A high-mean electric field up to 3-5 MV/cm on the cathode surface in the end of hollow cathode phase is enough to initiate the mechanism. The cathode spot initiation delay time (<10 ns) and explosive emission threshold current (~108 A/cm2 ) prior to the high current conducting phase are given by solving the initial value problem of the one-dimensional heat conduction equation, thus explaining the existing experimental data of the pseudospark cathode superemission. In the case of multigap discharge, the above mechanism occurs on nearly all cathode and interelectrode surfaces. Experimental evidence in single- and multigap pseudospark discharges supports the suggested explanation

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 5 )