An electron beam controlled diffuse discharge switch



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Texas Tech University


In recent years there has been an increasing interest in the development of fast, repetitive, opening switches which would allow the use of inductive energy storage in repetitively operated pulsed power systems. An opening switch concept that shows promise for such operation is the electron beam controlled diffuse discarge switch (EBCS). An analysis of this switch that demonstrates the importance of the switch gas composition is presented and several desirable gas properties are identified. An experimental facility for the study of promising gases in a repetitively operated EBCS is also described. It includes an e-beam generating tetrode that is able to deliver an e-beam with a maximum energy of 250 keV, a risetime of 10 ns, a maximum pulse duration of lus, and a variable repetition frequency up to 25 MHz in a lys burst. Results of experiments in various switch gas mixtures are presented. Current gains of approximately 10 and opening times < 100 ns have been observed.