Handbook of Vacuum Arc Science and Technology - Fundamentals by Boxman, R.L.; Sanders, D.M.; Martin, P.J.(eds.)

By Boxman, R.L.; Sanders, D.M.; Martin, P.J.(eds.)

This can be a complete textual content describing the fundamental physics and technological functions of vacuum arcs. half I describes uncomplicated physics of the vacuum arc, starting with a short educational evaluate of plasma and electric discharge physics, then describes the arc ignition technique, cathode and anode spots which function the locus for plasma new release, and resultant interelectrode plasma. half II describes the functions of the vacuum arc for depositing skinny movies and coatings, refining metals, switching excessive energy, and as resources of extreme electron, ion, plasma, and X-ray beams.

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The largest component of electron emission directly from the surface is by way of secondary electron emission, from bombardment of ions, metastable atoms, and photons emitted by excited atoms. The total electron emission, however, is small in comparison to the circuit current. The large deficit in electron current is made up by means of an electron avalanche multiplication in the gas layers adjacent to the cathode. Simply stated, each primary electron emitted from the cathode is accelerated by the electric field in that region, collides with and ionizes a gas atom, thus creating a new electron.

Debye shielding. Insertion of a positive perturbation sheet charge in (a) creates an electric field which attracts electrons into a sheath surrounding the perturbation. Displacement of the electrons leaves a positive space charge at the edge of the plasma, and thus there will be an external electric field, but the charges in the sheath are of equal but opposite charge as the perturbation, and thus shield the bulk of the plasma from an electric field. The thickness of the sheath, known as the Debye length A,,, is determined by balancing the thermal energy of the electrons with the electrical potential energy created by the charges.

The total electron emission, however, is small in comparison to the circuit current. The large deficit in electron current is made up by means of an electron avalanche multiplication in the gas layers adjacent to the cathode. Simply stated, each primary electron emitted from the cathode is accelerated by the electric field in that region, collides with and ionizes a gas atom, thus creating a new electron. The new and the old electron are now accelerated by the field until they also collide and ionize another two atoms, and so on, in a chain reaction.

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