VUV absorption spectroscopy measurements of the role of fast neutral atoms in high-power gap breakdown

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The maximum power achieved in a wide variety of high-power devices, including electron and ion diodes, z pinches, and microwave generators, is presently limited by anode-cathode gap breakdown. A frequently-discussed hypothesis for this effect is ionization of fast neutral atoms injected throughout the anode-cathode gap during the power pulse. The authors describe a newly-developed diagnostic tool that provides the first direct test of this hypothesis. Time-resolved vacuum-ultraviolet absorption spectroscopy is used to directly probe fast neutral atoms with 1 mm spatial resolution in the 10 mm anode-cathode gap of the SABRE 5 MV, 1 TW applied-B ion diode. Absorption spectra ... continued below

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28 p.

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FILUK,A.B.; BAILEY,JAMES E.; CUNEO,MICHAEL E.; LAKE,PATRICK WAYNE; NASH,THOMAS J.; NOACK,DONALD D. et al. March 20, 2000.

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM, and Livermore, CA (United States)
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Description

The maximum power achieved in a wide variety of high-power devices, including electron and ion diodes, z pinches, and microwave generators, is presently limited by anode-cathode gap breakdown. A frequently-discussed hypothesis for this effect is ionization of fast neutral atoms injected throughout the anode-cathode gap during the power pulse. The authors describe a newly-developed diagnostic tool that provides the first direct test of this hypothesis. Time-resolved vacuum-ultraviolet absorption spectroscopy is used to directly probe fast neutral atoms with 1 mm spatial resolution in the 10 mm anode-cathode gap of the SABRE 5 MV, 1 TW applied-B ion diode. Absorption spectra collected during Ar RF glow discharges and with CO{sub 2} gas fills confirm the reliability of the diagnostic technique. Throughout the 50--100 ns ion diode pulses no measurable neutral absorption is seen, setting upper limits of 0.12--1.5 x 10{sup 14} cm{sup {minus}3} for ground state fast neutral atom densities of H, C, N, O, F. The absence of molecular absorption bands also sets upper limits of 0.16--1.2 x 10{sup 15} cm{sup {minus}3} for common simple molecules. These limits are low enough to rule out ionization throughout the gap as a breakdown mechanism. This technique can now be applied to quantify the role of neutral atoms in other high-power devices.

Physical Description

28 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE00752820

Medium: P; Size: 28 pages

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  • Journal Name: Physical Review E; Other Information: Submitted to Physical Review E

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  • Report No.: SAND2000-0719J
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.62.8485 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 752820
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc711884

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  • March 20, 2000

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  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • April 10, 2017, 6:59 p.m.

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FILUK,A.B.; BAILEY,JAMES E.; CUNEO,MICHAEL E.; LAKE,PATRICK WAYNE; NASH,THOMAS J.; NOACK,DONALD D. et al. VUV absorption spectroscopy measurements of the role of fast neutral atoms in high-power gap breakdown, article, March 20, 2000; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc711884/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.