Fundamental processes affecting recovery in hydrogen thyratrons

Braun, C. G.; Erwin, D. A.; Gundersen, M. A.
May 1987
Applied Physics Letters;5/11/1987, Vol. 50 Issue 19, p1325
Academic Journal
Experimental measurements in the positive column of wall-confined high-current hydrogen thyratron discharges show a pronounced increase in atomic hydrogen excited state populations after the end of the current pulse. The decay rate of the electron and excited state population is observed to decrease as the energy flux increases. A time-dependent collisional-radiative model is used to calculate electron and excited state densities. This model is in reasonable agreement with experimental measurements and explains the afterpulse behavior. The analysis shows that the coupling between electron and atom temperatures is an important mechanism in high-power thyratron recovery. A new method using laser-induced fluorescence to obtain time-resolved Stark broadening data for electron density measurements is presented.


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