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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)
Isak I. Beilis ; Electrical Discharge and Plasma Laboratory, School of Electrical Engineering, Fleischman Faculty of Engineering, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel ; Yosef Koulik ; Raymond L. Boxman

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=150\hbox {--}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:

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