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Title: Early stage time evolution of a dense nanosecond microdischarge used in fast optical switching applications

The mechanism of high-voltage nanosecond microdischarges is studied by the self-consistent two-dimensional Particle-in-Cell/Monte Carlo Collisions model. These microdischarges were recently proposed for use as fast switches of visible light in Bataller et al. [Appl. Phys. Lett. 105, 223501 (2014)]. The microdischarge is found to develop in two stages. The first stage is associated with the electrons initially seeded in the cathode-anode gap. These electrons lead to the formation of a cathode-directed streamer. The second stage starts when the secondary electron emission from the cathode begins. In this stage, a rather dense plasma (∼10{sup 16 }cm{sup −3}) is generated which results in the narrow cathode sheath. The electric field in this sheath exceeds the critical electric field which is necessary for the runaway electrons generation. We have found that the presence of these energetic electrons is crucial for the discharge maintenance.
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22489979
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 12; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ANODES; CATHODES; ELECTRIC FIELDS; ELECTRIC POTENTIAL; ELECTRON EMISSION; MONTE CARLO METHOD; PLASMA; RUNAWAY ELECTRONS; SECONDARY EMISSION; SWITCHES; TAIL ELECTRONS; TWO-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS; VISIBLE RADIATION