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Title: The quantum mechanics of ion-enhanced field emission and how it influences microscale gas breakdown

The presence of a positive gas ion can enhance cold electron field emission by deforming the potential barrier and increasing the tunneling probability of electrons—a process known as ion-enhanced field emission. In microscale gas discharges, ion-enhanced field emission produces additional emission from the cathode and effectively reduces the voltage required to breakdown a gaseous medium at the microscale (<10 μm). In this work, we enhance classic field emission theory by determining the impact of a gaseous ion on electron tunneling and compute the effect of ion-enhanced field emission on the breakdown voltage. We reveal that the current density for ion-enhanced field emission retains the same scaling as vacuum cold field emission and that this leads to deviations from traditional breakdown theory at microscale dimensions.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556 (United States)
  2. (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22305932
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 116; Journal Issue: 10; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; ARSENIC IONS; BREAKDOWN; CATHODES; CATIONS; CURRENT DENSITY; ELECTRIC POTENTIAL; ELECTRONS; FIELD EMISSION; PROBABILITY; QUANTUM MECHANICS; TUNNEL EFFECT