A Novel RF Excited Plasma Cathode Electron Beam Gun Design
© 2015 IEEE. This paper presents a new radio frequency (RF) excited plasma cathode electron beam (EB) gun design and experimental results at a frequency of 84 MHz. The design offers the following benefits over thermionic cathode triode EB guns: much longer cathode lifetime and as a result improved reliability and reduced maintenance costs; no requirement for a grid electrode, avoiding beam aberration, and rapid beam pulsing. The construction of the diode gun was completed and the results of this paper demonstrate that the EB can be switched on in 200 ns and off within 800 ns. Electrons were extracted from a plasma chamber and then accelerated by an electric field applied in a vacuum chamber at a pressure of 10-5 to 10-6 mbar, producing a collimated EB. The ionized gas used was air at some 0.5 mbar pressure. The EB gun has been operated at-60 kV accelerating potential and has produced beams of up to 3.2 kW power continuous wave. Modulation of the RF signal was used to control the beam power. Details of the design features of the plasma device are given and evidence of the advantages over conventional EB guns is provided through empirical results.
Pozo, SD; Ribton, CN; Smith, DR
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