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Influence of magnetic field on the electric breakdown in penning ion source

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3 Author(s)
Mahjour-Shafiei, M. ; Department of Physics, University of Tehran, Tehran 1439955961, Iran ; Noori, H. ; Ranjbar, A.H.

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A cold-cathode penning-type ion source has been developed in our laboratory to study the electric breakdown in this type of sources. The breakdown voltage was measured as a function of axial magnetic field, in the range of 440–600 G, and anode length, in steps of 14, 20, and 24 mm. The measurement was performed with stainless steel cathodes in argon gas at pressure of 4 × 10-2 mbar. Furthermore, a model was developed to explain the breakdown voltage data. In the construction of the model, the first Townsend coefficient was not directly used to avoid difficulties originating from the non-uniformity of the electric field. The empirical parameters of the model were obtained using the experimental data. The equation γ = c × (Ez/N)n, expressing the effective secondary emission coefficient in terms of reduced electric field, which was needed in the modeling process, was inspired from previous works. The parameters c and n were then calculated from the empirical parameters of the model. The n parameter turned out to be 0.59, which differs from the value reported by other authors merely by 1.6%. Three values, 0.010, 0.013, and 0.017 corresponding to the three anodes were obtained for the c parameter. These numbers are in good agreement with 0.01, which has been reported in the previous works. It was also found that the value of n has a decisive impact on the breakdown voltage curve in the high breakdown voltage region.

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Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:82 ,  Issue: 11 )