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Proceedings Paper

Rep-rate explosive whisker emission cathode investigations
Author(s): Marc S. Litz; Jeffry Golden
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Paper Abstract

An experiment is underway to study the performance of several materials as field-emission cathodes for low voltage (<EQ 100 kV), repetitive (< 1 kHz) electron accelerators. A thyratron-switched blumlein line modulator with a 70 (Omega) characteristic impedance, and 1 microsecond(s) pulse width, is operated between 20 and 100 kV from single-shot to 300 Hz rep-rate. This provides a high average power (50 kW) test bed for the study. A comparison is made of cathodes fabricated from velvet, carbon, diamond coatings, niobium wire nanocomposite, and poly-crystalline tungsten. Surface emission is monitored by an array of Faraday cups. The `turn-on' time, uniformity of emission, and gap closure time are measured as a function of the spatially averaged, macroscopic electric field at the cathode. The carbon fiber cathode produces the largest current density and has the lowest threshold voltage for emission.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 1994
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2154, Intense Microwave Pulses II, (13 May 1994);
Show Author Affiliations
Marc S. Litz, Army Research Lab. (United States)
Jeffry Golden, Berkeley Research Associates (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2154:
Intense Microwave Pulses II
Howard E. Brandt, Editor(s)

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