Breakdown features of a high-voltage nanosecond discharge initiated with runaway electrons at subnanosecond voltage pulse rise time

Mikhail I. Lomaev, Dmitry V. Beloplotov, Victor F. Tarasenko, Dmitry A. Sorokin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)


In the wide pressure range of the pure nitrogen and sulfur hexafluoride with small admixture of nitrogen (2,5%) the development of the breakdown during the formation of diffuse discharges initiated by runaway electrons and X-Ray was investigated. Nanosecond voltage pulses of both polarities with an amplitude up to ~300 kV and risetime of ~0.5 ns applied across the discharge gap did provide sharply nonuniform electric field distribution. Estimations of average propagation velocity of the ionization wave in the nitrogen and mixture sulfur hexafluoride with nitrogen were performed on the basis of data on dynamics of radiation intensity of the second positive (2+) nitrogen system from various regions along of the longitudinal axis of interelectrode gap. Interrelation between the glow dynamics and the local value of the electric field strength has been defined. The results showed that the breakdown is developed in the form of the ionization wave propagating from the potential electrode with the highest concentration of the electric field to the flat-grounded one. In the regions near the grounded electrode practically simultaneous increasing of radiation intensity is registered, that indicates on a possible change of the breakdown mechanism in this part of the discharge gap.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7179138
Pages (from-to)1833-1840
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • electric breakdown
  • electric fields
  • Gas discharges
  • high-voltage breakdown
  • ionization wave propagation
  • spontaneous emission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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