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Proceedings Paper

Vacuum spark x-ray source for high-speed photography
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Paper Abstract

The vacuum spark is an excellent source of pulsed X-rays (also called flash X-rays) suitable for high speed photography. In the vacuum spark concept a capacitor is discharged through two properly shaped electrodes, made of selected materials, in a vacuum. This high current (over 1 kA) discharge produces intense pulsed hard X-rays with a pulse width of about 10 ns (FWHM, Full Width at Half Maximum). The measured source size by pinhole photography is smaller than 0.5 mm. Efforts have been made to reduced the total inductance (below 200 nH) and to use a relatively small capacitor (just a few nF), so as to increase the X-ray intensity. A vacuum spark X-ray source (VSX I) has been under routine operation at ALFT and has logged over 1,200 shots during X-ray tests carried out with Los Alamos National Laboratory. The radiation head was designed and built by ALFT and the remaining components are all commercial, off-the-shelf products. An external signal of 10 V, 1 ns rise time and 500 ns width triggers the machine at rep-rates up to 10 Hz, and higher rep-rate operation of the vacuum spark is being studied at ALFT.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 May 1997
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2869, 22nd International Congress on High-Speed Photography and Photonics, (28 May 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.273442
Show Author Affiliations
Liyan Zhang, Advanced Laser and Fusion Technology, Inc. (United States)
Emilio Panarella, Advanced Laser and Fusion Technology, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2869:
22nd International Congress on High-Speed Photography and Photonics
Dennis L. Paisley; ALan M. Frank, Editor(s)

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