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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 5 • Date Oct. 2003

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 33
  • Guest editorial introduction

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 798
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Plasma stream homogeneity in metal plasma immersion ion implantation and deposition

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 968 - 972
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    The homogeneity of metal plasma immersion ion implantation and deposition (MePIIID) was investigated for flat substrates and the materials systems Al, AlN, Ti, TiN, TiO2, and ZnO. A shield was installed in the line-of-sight between the cathode and substrates (diameter 60 and 100 mm) to reduce macroparticle counts. An influence of pulse voltage, cathode material, and backfill on the lateral homogeneity was observed so the plasma stream emanating from the arc as well as the plasma sheath evolving around the substrates contributed to the radial homogeneity in MePIIID. The major factor was the ratio of the sheath width to the sample diameter, with additional influences from the ion velocity and mean free path. For small, conformal sheaths, a normal ion incidence was observed for the substrate, whereas larger, spherical sheaths resulted in oblique ion trajectories near the edge, with an increased sputter yield and lower dose. View full abstract»

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  • Probe measurement of residual plasma of a magnetically confined high-current vacuum arc

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 929 - 933
    Cited by:  Papers (12)
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    The electron temperature and ion density of the residual plasma of a magnetically confined high-current vacuum arc were measured using the electrostatic (Langmuir) probe method. Measurements were performed in a triggered-vacuum gap using a 40-mm-diameter oxygen-free copper (OFCu) cathode and an anode of 100 mm diameter separated by a gap of 30 mm. The arc current is a sinusoidal wave having a half-period of approximately 1 ms and a peak value ranging from 1 to 5 kA. An axial magnetic field (AMF) was supplied by either a DC field coil or AMF-type electrodes, which generate an AC magnetic field in close proximity that has coincident phase with arc current. It was found that the electron temperature of the residual plasma did not depend on current peak, and current gradient and space remained in a constant range of 2.2-3.0 eV. The radial distribution of ion density was diffusive, in contrast to the parabolic confined distribution of the steady-state arc. The characteristics obtained for the DC magnetic field and those obtained for the AMF electrode were identical except for the ion density at current zero. View full abstract»

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  • Experimental characterization of vacuum arc instabilities for different electrode metals

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 953 - 957
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
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    Arc voltages and instabilities of low-current, dc vacuum arcs, less than 30 A, ignited by the opening of electrodes were investigated for eight kinds of electrode metals. The low-current dc arcs were always unstable, but the dc components of the arc voltages showed peculiar values to the metals. The intensity of the instability differed depending on the electrode material, and it was confirmed that the waveform of the spike voltage was the same with the voltage drop of the inductive resistor of the circuit. The spike voltage excites an oscillation of the arc current as a result of inductance and capacitance resonance of the circuit. The oscillations were observed by adding a parallel capacitance and a series inductance to the circuit, and the waveforms of the oscillation agreed with simulated waveforms. View full abstract»

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  • Transport of a vacuum-arc produced plasma beam in a magnetized cylindrical duct

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 977 - 982
    Cited by:  Papers (10)
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    The transport of a vacuum-arc produced plasma beam along a magnetized cylindrical duct was studied experimentally. The plasma source consisted of a Sn or an Al cathode and a 17-mm internal diameter annular copper anode through which the plasma beam entered into the 160-mm diameter and 500-mm length cylindrical duct. The arc current Iarc was in the range of 30-100 A. Three magnetic coils positioned coaxially with the duct axis produced an approximately axial guiding magnetic field, Bg≤20 mT in the duct. A 130-mm-diameter movable planar disk probe, positioned normal to the duct axis, was used to measure the ion saturation current Iprobe along the duct. The ion current to the duct wall, Iduct, and the probe and duct floating potentials, φprobe and φduct, respectively, were measured as functions of Bg and the axial distance of the probe from the anode, L. Generally, Iprobe decreased while Iduct increased with L, and the sum Iprobe+Iduct was approximately independent of L. For an Al arc, Iprobe and Iduct initially increased as a function of Iarc, reached a maximum at Iarc=40--45 A, and then decreased by a factor of 2-2.5 relative to their maximal values. Both φprobe and φduct were negative relative to the grounded anode. φprobe became significantly more negative as L or Bg increased, while φduct depended only weakly on L and Bg. View full abstract»

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  • Simulation of the sputtered atom transport during a pulse deposition Process in single- and dual-magnetron systems

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 994 - 1000
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    Results are presented for Monte Carlo simulation of the sputtered atom transport in systems with one and two magnetrons operating in pulse mode. The magnetron system geometry as well as gas pressure and the gap between the targets and substrate strongly influence the features of the forward and backward sputtered atom flows, time behavior, and energy of depositing atoms. The shape of current pulses affects the modulation level of the atom flows that is higher in the case of triangular pulses. The magnetron systems, with inclined targets and a V-shaped target, feature the higher efficiency of atom transport (as compared with the dual coplanar target system or an ordinary one with the flat target) due to the decrease of the atom loss on the chamber walls and shortening the path of the sputtered atoms to the substrate. View full abstract»

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  • Two-dimensional thermal model of a refractory anode in a vacuum arc

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 958 - 962
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
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    A two-dimensional (2-D) thermal model for cylindrical graphite and molybdenum anodes in vacuum arcs is presented. The model includes heat flux from the plasma to anode surface, radiation from surfaces of the whole anode, and temperature-dependent thermophysical coefficients of the anode material. Arcs equipped with 3.2-cm in diameter and 1-3-cm-long anodes, with 175- and 340-A currents, and duration up to 250 s are analyzed. The results of the 2-D calculations indicate that the temperature of the active anode surface is distributed relatively uniformly, and the rate of anode temperature rise is larger for short (1 cm) anodes than for long (3 cm) anodes. Maximum active surface temperature depends weakly on anode length. The rear surface temperature for a 3-cm anode length is lower for graphite anodes (1600 K) than for molybdenum (2100 K) when I=175A. The active surface temperature of both graphite (for 175-340 A) and molybdenum (for 175 A) and shorter (1 cm) anodes varies from 2000 to 2400 K, indicating that the vacuum arc can operate as a hot-refractory anode vacuum arc. View full abstract»

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  • Experimental study of the behavior of liquid metal under the plasma of a cathode spot

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 827 - 831
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
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    This paper reports the results of direct observation with high temporal and spatial resolution of the behavior of liquid metal under the plasma of the cathode spot of low-current vacuum arcs. New data have been obtained on the interplay between the formation of liquid-metal microstructures and the motion of the cathode spot. View full abstract»

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  • Control of stress and microstructure in cathodic arc deposited films

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 939 - 944
    Cited by:  Papers (25)
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    The almost fully ionized cathodic arc plasma is a versatile source for the deposition of thin films. Ion energies impinging on the growth surface can easily be controlled by applying substrate bias. The natural energy of the depositing ions is moderate (tens of electron volts) and generates substantial compressive stress in most materials. In hard materials (such as tetrahedral-carbon and titanium nitride), the high-yield stress makes the problem particularly severe. Recent work has shown that stress relaxation can be achieved by pulses of high ion-energy bombardment (∼10 keV) applied to the substrate during growth. In this paper, we describe the variation of intrinsic stress as a function of applied pulsed bias voltage (V) and pulse frequency (f) for deposition of carbon and titanium nitride films. We found that stress relaxation depends on the parameter Vf, so it is possible to achieve the same level of stress relief for a range of voltages by selecting appropriate pulsing frequencies. With the right choice of parameters, it is possible to almost completely eliminate the intrinsic stress and deposit very thick coatings. Our experimental results showed correlations between intrinsic stress and film microstructures, such as the preferred orientation. This leads to the possibility of controlling microstructure with high energy ion pulsing during growth. Molecular dynamics computer simulations of isolated impacts provide insight into the atomic-scale processes at work. Using the results of such simulations, we describe a model for how stress relief might take place, based on relaxation in thermal spikes occurring around impact sites of the high-energy ions. View full abstract»

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  • Structure and time behavior of vacuum arc cathode spots

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 809 - 816
    Cited by:  Papers (17)
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    This paper reviews the state-of-the-art study of the physical processes in the cathode spot of a vacuum arc. The most important experimental data are explained in terms of the ecton model of a cathode spot. The finite lifetime of an ecton is responsible for the cyclic character of the processes occurring in a cathode spot. It has been shown that the arc plasma is generated by microexplosions occurring at the cathode surface heated by the Joule mechanism due to the high-explosive emission current density. Up to kiloampere currents, the charge state of the arc plasma and directed velocities of the ions are governed by the operation of a cathode spot cell-an ecton. View full abstract»

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  • High-Voltage, glow-discharge electron sources and possibilities of its application in industry for realizing different technological operations

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 987 - 993
    Cited by:  Papers (5)
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    Important problems of generation and forming electron beams in electrode systems of a high-voltage glow discharge are discussed. Also considered are dependencies of energetic parameters on the formed electron beam as well as on anode plasma parameters from the discharge voltage and current. Examples are given of some up-to-date and advanced possibilities of using high-voltage, glow-discharge electron beam sources for achieving different technological operational modes. Output characteristics of elaborate vaporization and welding equipment are discussed as well. View full abstract»

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  • Resonant atomic interfero- and shadowgraphy of vacuum arc with gallium cathode

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 864 - 868
    Cited by:  Papers (8)
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    The mechanism of the emission of neutral atoms of the cathode material into the discharge gap of a microsecond low-current vacuum arc with a liquid Ga cathode has been investigated by the method of subnanosecond resonance laser interfero- and shadowgraphy. It has been shown that the cathode material vaporization has a pronounced nonstationary character and occurs both isotropically and in the form of constricted weakly ionized jets with the atom concentration in a jet over 1017cm-3. View full abstract»

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  • Current zero behavior of vacuum interrupters with bipolar and quadrupolar AMF contacts

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 934 - 938
    Cited by:  Papers (6)
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    Axial magnetic field (AMF) contacts are applied in vacuum circuit breakers to interrupt high short-circuit currents. A magnetic field parallel to the current flow in the arc column improves the breaking capacity by affecting the arc mode. Depending on the design of the contacts, this magnetic field can take different directions over the contact surface. In this paper, measurements of bipolar and quadrupolar AMF contact systems are presented. For bipolar arrangements, the polarity of the field changes once and for quadrupolar arrangements twice. Due to different eddy current paths, the residual magnetic field at current zero is significantly higher for the quadrupolar arrangement. The breaking capability of two contact systems was investigated and completed by measuring the post arc current. View full abstract»

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  • Transition to the diffuse mode for high-current drawn arcs in vacuum with an axial magnetic field

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 909 - 917
    Cited by:  Papers (30)
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    The opening of electrical contacts while passing current generates a drawn arc. In vacuum, the arc begins as a bridge of molten metal connecting the contacts, which then ruptures to form a bridge column arc. Previous work observing the development of drawn arcs in vacuum with an imposed axial magnetic field (AMF) measured the time required for the bridge column to evolve into the high-current diffuse mode. Arc visualization experiments on Cu-Cr contacts with an AMF have now determined that the transition to the fully diffuse mode has a more complicated development. With high-speed photography, we characterized the appearance of the arc modes over half-cycles of power frequency short-circuit current. The opening sequence begins with the rupturing of the molten metal bridge, forming the bridge column. This column evolves into the transition mode, and then into the fully diffuse mode. This transition mode in an AMF consists of a region of concentrated cathode spots, similar to the transition mode for butt contacts at lower currents and no AMF. Over a few milliseconds, an increasing number of individual cathode spots begin to appear outside the concentrated region, until a diffuse arc forms. The transition mode produces a transient peak in the arc voltage. Increasing the AMF strength at a particular current can shorten the duration of the transition mode and reduces the arc voltage peak. Single or multiple half-cycle operations have been performed on Cu-Cr contacts to investigate the effect of the transition mode on contact melting. The melting patterns after a single half-cycle of high current are correlated with the behavior observed in the arc movies. Anode melting is confined to one or two regions of shallow melting, while individual cathode spot tracks covered most of the cathode surface. The combination of arc visualization and post-arcing contact examinations demonstrated that the transition arc mode was a significant source of contact melting. View full abstract»

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  • Multilayer contact material based on copper and chromium material and its interruption ability

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 973 - 976
    Cited by:  Papers (9)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1399 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Contact material based on copper and chromium (CuCr) is widely used for vacuum interrupters (VIs) and has found worldwide acceptance in medium-voltage applications, especially for high-current interruption. Contact material with a weight content of chromium between 25 and 60 wt.% is almost exclusively used. A new contact material was established based on a multilayer system to improve the interruption ability and mechanical properties and reduce the contact resistance. After a combined sintering and melting process in a high-vacuum furnace, a material of high density and low gas content is produced. The finished blank consists of the following layers: CuCr-sheathing, copper bulk material, and a stainless-steel support resulting from the lost mold. It turned out that the higher thermal and electrical conductivity as well as mechanical properties of the multilayer contact material improved the interruption ability of the VI. Investigations of switching behaviors were carried out in standard VIs. Additionally, the standard chromium content of 25 wt.% in CuCr and the influence of higher chromium content was investigated with respect to interruption ability. Afterwards, the microstructure on the contact surface was analyzed with scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray. View full abstract»

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  • Current-zero measurements of vacuum circuit breakers interrupting short-line faults

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 852 - 858
    Cited by:  Papers (8)
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    Current zero measurements are performed during short-line fault interruption tests of vacuum circuit breakers. This switching cycle is characterized by a very steep transient recovery voltage. High-resolution measurements of near current-zero arc current and voltage were carried out. Various reignition modes (occurring between 0 and 75 ms after current zero) were observed due to insufficient arcing time or current in excess of the rated short-circuit breaking current. The relationship between post-arc current/charge, reignition mode, and transient recovery voltage is discussed in this paper. In addition to the "classical" post-arc current, already described in the literature, another "late" post-arc current was observed reaching values up to several tens of amperes after severe thermal arcing stress. All interrupters interrupted at the first or second current zero under the "rated" conditions of short-line fault current and transient recovery voltage. View full abstract»

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  • Numerical simulation of high-current vacuum arcs with an external axial magnetic field

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 890 - 901
    Cited by:  Papers (57)
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    Numerical simulations are presented for physical behavior and heat flux to the anode of high-current diffuse of arcs as found in vacuum interrupters. The magnetohydrodynamic approach is applied. Of importance is the consideration of energy balance. Heat flux densities to the anode are predicted in the right order of magnitude and essential physical details of the high-current vacuum arc are disclosed. Only at low or no axial magnetic field superimposed externally and low-arc currents, the anode-directed flow of plasma of diffuse arcs reveals supersonic conditions. Otherwise, subsonic conditions exist. In supersonic diffuse arcs, the anode-directed plasma flow is decelerated and highest pressures appear in front of the anode. At subsonic conditions the highest pressure prevails in the cathode region and the pressure gradient drives the flow to the anode. The transition from diffuse to diffuse columnar arc seems to occur when the evaporation rate of metal vapor from the contact surfaces approaches the emission rate of plasma from the body of cathode spots. Diffuse columnar arcs have moderate pressure variations from cathode to anode. With rising plasma density, the energy loss from the emission of electromagnetic radiation increases and can no longer be neglected. View full abstract»

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  • A simplified model of the formation of a deep potential well in a vacuum diode

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 847 - 851
    Cited by:  Papers (8)
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    The nonstationary problem of the formation of a virtual cathode in a diode with an accelerating electric field and a high-current electron beam entering the diode has been solved numerically. As a result, the possibility of the formation of a deep nonstationary potential well in the presence of an electric field in the diode gap has been shown, and a model for the current passage and formation of such a well in an explosive-electron-emission vacuum diode has been proposed. View full abstract»

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  • Characteristics of DC vacuum arc in the transverse axially symmetric magnetic field

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 918 - 922
    Cited by:  Papers (14)
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    The characteristics of a DC vacuum arc in an axially symmetric magnetic field under contact opening are experimentally investigated. The magnetic field is formed with the help of the constant magnet placed on the side of the fixed contact. The magnet position is chosen so that near the working area of contacts at radius ≈12 mm, there is mainly a transverse component of the magnetic field of about 100-150 mT. Studies revealed two burning phases of the switching-off vacuum arc. At the initial phase, the arc burns steadily, voltage slowly increases as contacts are opened, and discharge channels are concentrated inside the intercontact gap. The duration of this phase is several milliseconds. Then, the arc goes into an unstable phase characterized by a significant voltage noise. The unstable phase of arc burning is terminated by switching off the current. During this phase, the arc burns beyond the intercontact gap. Evolution of these phases is investigated as a function of the arc current in the interval of 50-300 A. View full abstract»

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  • Plasma parameters of an arc cathode spot at the low-current vacuum discharge

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 817 - 821
    Cited by:  Papers (10)
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    This paper is devoted to the results of an experimental study of plasma parameters of cathode spot burning on a liquid-metal cathode in vacuum at a low-current (less than 200 A) vacuum arc discharge. Picosecond laser interferometry and absorption shadow imaging were used in a single experiment. Plasma fragments as dense as 1026 m-3 were observed at discharge currents less than 50 A. Such fragments were never observed in arc discharges with currents higher than 100 A or in the breakdown stage of the discharge. View full abstract»

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  • An analysis of the instability phenomena of a low-current vacuum arc for copper cathodes

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 963 - 967
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (385 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A cathode spot model is used to analyze the instability phenomena of a vacuum arc. The current below which no real solution exists is believed to be an unstable region. When the current decreases below 19 A, the electrons returning to the sheath region from the plasma region were found to dominate over the positive ions and, thus, the cathode electric field has an imaginary solution. An electrostatic probe was used to confirm these findings, and the analytical results were similar to measurement results. The present cathode spot model may be valid for volatile materials. View full abstract»

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  • Current collection and discharges on high voltage solar array for space use in plasma

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 1001 - 1005
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    We investigated the interaction of a high-voltage solar array with a plasma simulating a low Earth orbit environment. We measured the plasma-coupling currents of DC-voltage biased solar array models in an argon plasma in a large space chamber. At the positive bias voltage, the plasma-coupling current increased considerably with an increase of bias voltage above 100 V. The current at the negative bias voltage was smaller than at the positive bias voltage, but discharges occurred at about -200 to -300 V. View full abstract»

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  • Effect of parallel circuit parameters on the instability of a low-current vacuum arc

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 877 - 883
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (663 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    To clarify the instability phenomena of a low-current vacuum arc, we observe the phenomena by changing the parallel circuit parameters. We measure instability-initiation current, chopping current, arc voltage, reignition voltage peak, and the transient recovery voltage by using copper, copper chromium, copper tungsten, and silver tungsten carbide electrodes. We find that the chopping current, reignition voltage peak, and transient recovery voltage depend on parallel circuit parameters, but the instability-initiation current and arc voltage do not depend on them. We also find that the instability phenomena depend primarily on the cathode material. View full abstract»

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  • High-current vacuum arc appearance in nonhomogeneous axial magnetic field

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 884 - 889
    Cited by:  Papers (39)
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    The distribution of the spots over the cathode of a high-current vacuum arc stabilized by an axial magnetic field (AMF) has been investigated. AMF configuration has been varied from conventional "bell-shaped" to "magnetic barrier," where a substantial AMF is created on the electrode edge and virtually vanishes in the center. The complex effect of the AMF configuration on the behavior of cathode spots has been satisfactorily explained based on the Steenbeck minimum principle. It has been shown that the "magnetic barrier" represents an optimum AMF configuration, providing even current distribution and relatively low and stable arc voltage. View full abstract»

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  • Vacuum arcs driven by cross-magnetic fields (RMF)

    Publication Year: 2003 , Page(s): 902 - 908
    Cited by:  Papers (33)
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    The principle of controlling a high-current vacuum arc by radial magnetic fields (RMF) forcing the constricted arc to move has been utilized for long time in the design of vacuum interrupters. Detailed electrical and optical measurements in conjunction with finite-element method (FEM)-calculations have provided a better physical understanding of the function of RMF contacts. By balancing the processes of surface heating and momentum gain in the moving arc column, an expression for the speed of the arc and arc voltage is obtained. The speed varies as the 5/6 power of the short-circuit current. This result is then used to describe the number of rotations of the arc on the contact and to explain the linear scaling law of contact diameter with current. The investigations are mainly concentrated on spiral-type contact designs. View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

IEEE Transactions on Plasma Sciences focuses on plasma science and engineering, including: magnetofluid dynamics and thermionics; plasma dynamics; gaseous electronics and arc technology.

 

 

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Steven J. Gitomer, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, US Civilian Research & Development Foundation
Guest Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory
1428 Miracerros Loop South
Santa Fe, NM  87505  87505  USA
tps-editor@ieee.org
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