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Effect of the pulse repetition rate on the composition and ion charge-state distribution of pulsed vacuum arcs

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2 Author(s)
Yushkov, G.Y. ; Inst. of High-Current Electron., Acad. of Sci., Tomsk, Russia ; Anders, Andre

The plasma composition and ion charge-state distributions of pulsed vacuum arcs have been investigated for carbon, aluminum, silver, platinum, and tantalum cathodes using a time-of-flight (TOF) charge-to-mass spectrometer. With the exception of carbon, it was found that all results depend on the arc pulse repetition rate, a fact which, up to now, has not been reported in the literature. It is shown that adsorption of gas on the cathode between are pulses leads to contamination of the metal plasma and to a reduction of metal ion charge states. These usually undesired effects can be avoided by operating at high arc pulse repetition rates of order 10 Hz or more. The results can be interpreted in terms of cathode spot type 1 (on contaminated cathode surfaces) and type 2 (on clean surfaces) which are well known from their different brightness and erosion behaviour. The transition between these modes was found to be gradual

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:26 ,  Issue: 2 )