Cathodic arcs: Fractal voltage and cohesive energy rule

Anders, André; Oks, Efim M.; Yushkov, Georgy Yu.
May 2005
Applied Physics Letters;5/23/2005, Vol. 86 Issue 21, p211503
Academic Journal
The noise of the burning voltage of cathodic arcs in vacuum was analyzed for a range of cathode materials (C, Mg, Ti, V, Ni, Cu, Zr, Nb, Ag, Hf, Ta, W, Pt, Bi, and Si). Cathodic arcs were generated in a coaxial plasma source, and the voltage noise was measured with a broadband measuring system. Each measurement was analyzed by fast Fourier transform, revealing a power spectrum ∼1/f2 for all cathode materials over several orders of magnitude of frequency f (brown noise). The absence of any characteristic time down to possible cutoffs at high frequencies supports a fractal model of cathode spots. The amplitude of colored noise scaled approximately linearly with the cathode’s cohesive energy, which is another manifestation of the cohesive energy rule.


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