Description: Short-pulse, high-current discharges in vacuum were investigated with the goal to maximize the ion charge state number. In a direct extension of previous work [Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 041502 (2008)], the role of pulse length, rate of current rise, and current amplitude was studied. For all experimental conditions, the usable (extractable) mean ion charge state could not be pushed beyond 7+. Instead, a maximum of the mean ion charge state (about 6+ to 7+ for most cathode materials) was found for a power of 2-3 MW dissipated in the discharge gap. The maximum is the result of two opposing processes that occur when the power is increased: (i) the formation of higher ion charge states, and (ii) a greater production of neutrals (both metal and non-metal), which reduces the charge state via charge exchange collisions.
Date: December 23, 2008
Creator: Yushkov, Georgy & Anders, Andre
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