Abnormal polarity effect in nanosecond-pulse breakdown of SF6 and nitrogen

Tao Shao, Victor F. Tarasenko, Cheng Zhang, Dmitry S. Beloplotov, Wenjin Yang, Mikhail I. Lomaev, Zhongsheng Zhou, Dmitry A. Sorokin, Ping Yan

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The breakdown of gas gaps in an inhomogeneous electric field at subnanosecond and nanosecond voltage pulse rise times are studied, and the famous polarity effect in point-to-plane gaps is investigated. It is shown that at a voltage pulse rise time of ∼0.5 ns, the inversion of polarity effect takes place not only in electronegative gases such as SF6, but also occurs in electropositive nitrogen. The inversion of polarity effect is related to a delay of electron emission from the plane cathode on arrival of the ionization wave front anode to the cathode. It is found that with a voltage pulse rise time of ∼0.5 ns, the inversion of polarity effect occurs at SF6 and SF6-N2 pressures of 0.25 MPa and lower, and with a voltage pulse rise time of 15 ns, at a SF6 pressure lower than 0.12 MPa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1828-1833
Number of pages6
JournalPhysics Letters, Section A: General, Atomic and Solid State Physics
Issue number26-27
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • Gas discharge
  • Inversion of polarity effect
  • Nanosecond pulse
  • Nitrogen
  • Polarity effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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