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Title: Thermionic converter

Abstract

A gas-filled thermionic converter is provided with a collector and an emitter having a main emitter region and an auxiliary emitter region in electrical contact with the main emitter region. The main emitter region is so positioned with respect to the collector that a main gap is formed therebetween and the auxiliary emitter region is so positioned with respect to the collector that an auxiliary gap is formed therebetween partially separated from the main gap with access allowed between the gaps to allow ionizable gas in each gap to migrate therebetween. With heat applied to the emitter the work function of the auxiliary emitter region is sufficiently greater than the work function of the collector so that an ignited discharge occurs in the auxiliary gap and the work function of the main emitter region is so related to the work function of the collector that an unignited discharge occurs in the main gap sustained by the ions generated in the auxiliary gap. A current flows through a load coupled across the emitter and collector due to the unignited discharge in the main gap.

Inventors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. Sunnyvale, CA
  2. Cupertino, CA
Issue Date:
Research Org.:
Rasor Associates, Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif. (USA)
OSTI Identifier:
862658
Patent Number(s):
3983423
Assignee:
United States of America as represented by United States Energy (Washington, DC)
Patent Classifications (CPCs):
H - ELECTRICITY H01 - BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS H01J - ELECTRIC DISCHARGE TUBES OR DISCHARGE LAMPS
DOE Contract Number:  
AT(11-1)-2263
Resource Type:
Patent
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
thermionic; converter; gas-filled; provided; collector; emitter; main; region; auxiliary; electrical; contact; positioned; respect; gap; formed; therebetween; partially; separated; access; allowed; gaps; allow; ionizable; gas; migrate; heat; applied; function; sufficiently; ignited; discharge; occurs; related; unignited; sustained; generated; current; flows; load; coupled; due; emitter region; ionizable gas; formed therebetween; thermionic converter; electrical contact; current flow; current flows; discharge occurs; main emitter; /310/

Citation Formats

Rasor, Ned S, and Britt, Edward J. Thermionic converter. United States: N. p., 1976. Web.
Rasor, Ned S, & Britt, Edward J. Thermionic converter. United States.
Rasor, Ned S, and Britt, Edward J. Thu . "Thermionic converter". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/862658.
@article{osti_862658,
title = {Thermionic converter},
author = {Rasor, Ned S and Britt, Edward J},
abstractNote = {A gas-filled thermionic converter is provided with a collector and an emitter having a main emitter region and an auxiliary emitter region in electrical contact with the main emitter region. The main emitter region is so positioned with respect to the collector that a main gap is formed therebetween and the auxiliary emitter region is so positioned with respect to the collector that an auxiliary gap is formed therebetween partially separated from the main gap with access allowed between the gaps to allow ionizable gas in each gap to migrate therebetween. With heat applied to the emitter the work function of the auxiliary emitter region is sufficiently greater than the work function of the collector so that an ignited discharge occurs in the auxiliary gap and the work function of the main emitter region is so related to the work function of the collector that an unignited discharge occurs in the main gap sustained by the ions generated in the auxiliary gap. A current flows through a load coupled across the emitter and collector due to the unignited discharge in the main gap.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1976},
month = {1}
}

Patent:

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