Toward ultracompact pseudospark switches

Jiang, Chunqi; Kuthi, Andras; Gundersen, Martin A.
January 2005
Applied Physics Letters;1/10/2005, Vol. 86 Issue 2, p024105
Academic Journal
This letter reports studies of small pseudospark switches wherein the volume is reduced by one order of magnitude relative to the smallest previously reported versions operating with a peak current >1 kA. In preliminary testing, the switch holds off >20 kV with a peak current >4 kA and a pulse duration of 150 ns. The switch was operated in an optically triggered mode (backlighted thyratron) with helium fill for >106 discharges at 13.5 kV and 3.3 kA, with 0.5 mC transfer per pulse, at a repetition rate of 10 Hz without significant decay of switch performance. Preliminary observations indicate that the device operates in a superemissive cathode mode, demonstrating a pathway towards ultracompact superemissive cathode switches for repetitive pulsed power applications.


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