Breakdown of dielectric/vacuum interfaces caused by high power microwaves

A. Neuber, J. Dickens, D. Hemmert, H. Krompholz, L. L. Hatfield, M. Kristiansen

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The physical mechanisms leading to microwave breakdown on dielectric/vacuum interfaces are investigated for power levels on the order of 100 MW at 2.85 GHz. Breakdown started at the field enhancement tips at electric field levels of around 20 kV/cm. The final breakdown showed several distinct breakdown channels originating from the field enhancement tips. The pre-breakdown phase was characterized by a very broadband spectrum, typical for cathodoluminescence. At the moment of breakdown, atomic hydrogen lines showed up which was followed by atomic lines of carbon. The final breakdown, which changed the electrical length of the traveling wave resonator, took place in a gas cloud above the dielectric surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205
Number of pages1
JournalIEEE International Conference on Plasma Science
StatePublished - 1998
EventProceedings of the 1998 IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science - Raleigh, NC, USA
Duration: Jun 1 1998Jun 4 1998


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