Imaging of the explosive emission cathode plasma in a vircator high-power microwave source

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Abstract

Most pulsed high-power microwave sources use explosive electron emission cathodes to generate high current electron beams. In the explosive emission process, the current emitted through small field emission points becomes high enough to cause the cathode material to vaporize and form a plasma. Plasma characteristics, such as uniformity and expansion rate, will affect the performance of the microwave source. High-speed optical imaging can be used to resolve some characteristics of the plasma in time. The images of the cathode plasma during the operation of a triode-geometry virtual cathode oscillator high-power microwave source are presented for three different cathode materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1388-1389
Number of pages2
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Volume36
Issue number4 PART 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2008

Keywords

  • Aluminum
  • Cathodes
  • Explosive electron emission
  • Explosives
  • High-power microwaves
  • Materials
  • Microwave imaging
  • Microwave oscillators
  • Plasmas
  • Virtual cathode oscillator (vircator)

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