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The pseudospark as an electron beam source

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Abstract

The pseudospark is a low-pressure, hollow-cathode gas discharge that occurs in a special discharge geometry (pseudospark chamber) in different kinds of gases. A modular pseudospark chamber was built to investigate this discharge type as a source of intense electron beams. At a breakdown voltage of 24 kV and a discharge current of 480 A, an electron beam of 106 A and 13 ns FWHM (full width at half maximum) was extracted through the anode hole into a drift chamber filled with low-pressure gas. Electrical parameters of the circuit, including the plasma channel, were evaluated by monitoring the discharge current waveform. First results of beam profile and emittance measurements of the produced electron beam are presented. At an axial distance of 9 cm behind the anode, an RMS emittance of 55 mm-mrad was measured. The results obtained make it possible to consider the pseudospark discharge a high-brightness electron beam source
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The development of thermionic electron guns is of significant importance in electron beam technology. The paper is primarily concerned with the design, fabrication and experimentation of electron beam sources developed by our research group at electron beam sources development laboratory (EBSDL). This includes the development of directly and indirectly heated thermionic electron beam sources as well as high power line source electron guns. The important features of the optimized gun designs, their emission characteristics and performance are briefly outlined and their results are presented. These guns are currently being used for melting, evaporation, welding, heat treatment and research applications.
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Laser-controlled beamfront accelerator experiments achieved gradients of up to 40 MV/m and proton acceleration to 18 MeV over 40 cm with a beam energy of 900 keV. Beamfront electric field degradiation requirements beam energy to be increased as the gradient is increased. An experiment with a beam energy of 1.5 MeV achieved a 60 MV/m gradient in a 100 cm distance, matching theoretical models. Experiments with psuedospark discharges achieved electron beams of 25 KV, 1000 A/sq. cm., 10 ns with 10(11) A/(m-rad)sq brightness. Theory indicates densities greater than 10(3) A/sq. cm. and brightness greater than 10(11) A/(m- rad)sq are achievable. (jhd)
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