High-voltage spark gap in a regime of subnanosecond switching

Yury D. Korolev, Nikolay M. Bykov

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    10 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper describes an investigation of a high-voltage spark gap in the conditions of subnanosecond switching. The high-voltage pulsed generator Sinus is used to charge a coaxial line loaded to a high-pressure spark gap. Typical charging time for the coaxial line is in a range from 1 to 2 ns, maximum charging voltage is up to 250 kV, and a range of pressures for the gap is from 2 to 9 MPa. The theoretical models of the switching process on subnanosecond time scale are examined. A general equation for temporal behavior of the gap voltage, which is applicable for the avalanche model and the Rompe-Weitzel model has been obtained. It is revealed that the approach based on the avalanche model offers a possibility to describe the switching process only at extremely high overvoltages. The Rompe-Weitzel model demonstrates a good agreement with the experimental data both for the conditions of static breakdown and for the regime of a high overvolted gap. Comparison of experimental and calculated voltage waveforms has made it possible to estimate an empirical constant in the Rompe-Weitzel model (the price of ionization). This constant is varied from 420 to 920 eV, depending on the initial electric field in the gap.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number6109356
    Pages (from-to)2443-2448
    Number of pages6
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
    Issue number10 PART 1
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2012


    • High-pressure spark discharge
    • Subnanosecond discharge
    • Subnanosecond high-voltage generators

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
    • Condensed Matter Physics

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