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Real-time observation of surface charging on a cylindrical insulator in vacuum

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3 Author(s)
Yamamoto, O. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Kyoto Univ., Japan ; Takuma, T. ; Tanabe, Y.

By using an electrostatic probe located close to the triple junction on the cathode surface, we have conducted real-time observations of the change in electric field due to surface charging of an insulator in vacuum. A cylindrical sample made of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) or Al2O3 has been exposed to HVDC. An axisymmetric simulation based on the secondary electron emission electron avalanche (SEEA) theory has been performed. The measured results agreed with the simulation concerning the polarity of the accumulated charge as well as the field strength. The simulation also predicts the inception of charging at a voltage well below the measured flashover voltage. These results clearly support the SEEA theory as a macroscopic mechanism of surface charging of an insulator in vacuum

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Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 6 )