Effect of limiting the cathode surface on direct current microhollow cathode discharge in helium

Dufour, T.; Dussart, R.; Lefaucheux, P.; Ranson, P.; Overzet, L. J.; Mandra, M.; Lee, J.-B.; Goeckner, M.
August 2008
Applied Physics Letters;8/18/2008, Vol. 93 Issue 7, p071508
Academic Journal
This paper describes how to light several microdischarges in parallel without having to individually ballast each one. The V-I curve of a microhollow cathode discharge is characterized by a constant voltage in the normal glow regime because the plasma is able to spread over the cathode surface area to provide the additional secondary electrons needed. If one limits the cathode surface area, the V-I characteristic can be forced into an abnormal glow regime in which the operating voltage must increase with the current. It is then possible to light several microdischarges mounted in parallel without ballasting them individually.


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