Photodetachment as a discharge control mechanism in gases containing oxygen
Thurmond, Leo Erasmus
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Interest in high voltage switches for pulsed power applications has increased significantly in the last several years. Inductive energy storage has space and weight advantages over capacitive energy storage, but requires the use of a high power opening switch. Opening switch technology has only recently started to be developed, and several concepts for opening switches are being studied. One of these concepts is the diffuse discharge switch, which shows several advantages over other types of opening switches. One major advantage of the diffuse discharge switch is that it may be controlled externally by an electron beam or by optical means. There are several processes possible for optical control of a diffuse discharge, one of which is photodetachment. In this paper, three experiments are presented which study the possibility of using photodetachment as a discharge control mechanism in gases containing 02 are presented. The first experiment shows the effect of photodetachment outside the discharge and the dependence of the effect on laser energy flux density. The second experiment demonstrates the feedback effect of photodetachment on a glow discharge. Operating conditions for the largest effect are presented. The last experiment simulates the conditions in a high power switching device, and the preliminary results of this study are given.