Current characteristics of quasi-planar vacuum diodes with explosive-emission cathodes made of various materials at a high-voltage pulse duration of a few nanoseconds

K. V. Afanas'ev, M. I. Vagner, O. P. Kutenkov, I. V. Pegel, G. A. Pribytkov, V. V. Rostov, V. P. Tarakanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


The currents of 5-ns pulsed high-current electron beams produced in a planar vacuum diode with explosive-emission cathodes made of various materials with no external magnetic field at an average electric field strength in the gap of about 300 kV/cm have been measured and time-integrated observation of the optical luminescence of the cathode surface have been performed. Cathodes with a ceramic bushing and spring metal contacts, with ceramic plates set in a magnetic iron matrix, with blades made of stamped exfoliated graphite (Graflex), with blades made of foil fiberglass plastic, and a composite cathode made of crystalline boron and copper powders were tested. The current carried by one emission center has been estimated to range between 5 and 20 A for various cathodes. For the metal-dielectric cathode, the velocity of expansion of the cathode plasma over the ceramic surface has been estimated as 2·107 cm/s. The lifetimes of the cathodes at a pulse repetition rate of 50 Hz have been investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)772-780
Number of pages9
JournalRussian Physics Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012



  • cathode plasma
  • composite cathode
  • explosive emission
  • high-current nanosecond electron beam
  • metal-ceramic cathode
  • Vacuum diode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this