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Cu Ion Current Measurements in a Vacuum Arc With a Black Body Electrode Configuration

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3 Author(s)
Beilis, I.I. ; Electrical Discharge and Plasma Laboratory, School of Electrical Engineering, Fleischman Faculty of Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel ; Koulik, Y. ; Boxman, R.L.

The ion current ejected from a vacuum arc black body assembly (VABBA) with a Cu cathode is studied. In the VABBA, cathode material is emitted into a closed volume formed by a water-cooled cylindrical cathode and a cup-shaped W or Ta anode heated by the arc. If this volume is filled with a dense plasma when anode is hot, it acts as a black body toward macroparticles while a directed plasma jet is emitted through a single small anode aperture or a shower head aperture array. Arc currents are $I=150hbox{--}300~{rm A}$ and arc time 120 s. The ion current density $J_{i}$ is measured by an electrical probe. By inserting the probe through a single 4-mm hole in the Ta anode, it is found that $J_{i}$ in the closed volume increased with $I$ from ${sim}{rm 5.7}~{rm A}/{rm cm}^{2}$ at $I=150~{rm A}$, to 18.4 ${rm A}/{rm cm}^{2}$ at $I=225~{rm A}$. The plasma density is estimated to be ${sim}10^{15}hbox{--}10^{16}~{rm cm}^{-3}$ inside the closed volume. Outside of a W shower head anode with 250 holes with 1-mm diameter in a 200-A arc, the peak $J_{i}$ in the axial direction decreased from ${sim}{rm 0.3}$ to ${sim}{rm 0.12}~{rm A}/{rm cm}^{2}$ when the distance from the anode to th- probe increased from 3 to 50 mm. This result agrees with previous measurements in the hot refractory planar anode vacuum arc.

Published in:

Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 8 )

Date of Publication:

Aug. 2013

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