Breakdown at window interfaces caused by high power microwave fields

J. C. Dickens, J. Elliott, L. L. Hatfield, M. Kristiansen, H. Krompholz

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Breakdown phenomena at window interfaces from high vacuum (<10-7 torr) to atmospheric pressure are investigated for microwave power levels of up to 100 MW. The test stand utilizes a 3 MW magnetron operating at 2.8 GHz, coupled to an S-band traveling wave resonant ring. Various configurations of dielectric windows (i.e. vacuum-air, or vacuum-vacuum), in various geometries (standard pillbox geometry, or windows filling the S-band waveguide cross section) are investigated. Diagnostics include the measurement of transmitted/reflected microwave power, luminosity from the discharge plasma, x-ray emission from initially free electrons, and electric field probes. All these quantities are measured with high amplitude and high temporal (0.2 to 1 ns) resolution. Goals are to determine the physical mechanisms, such as the dominant electron multiplication process, leading to flashover. The knowledge gained from these experiments will be used to investigate and design methods to increase the power density which can be transmitted through windows.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230
Number of pages1
JournalIEEE International Conference on Plasma Science
StatePublished - 1996
EventProceedings of the 1996 IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science - Boston, MA, USA
Duration: Jun 3 1996Jun 5 1996


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