The development of ionization avalanches in nitrogen at atmospheric pressure near a single cold microscopic point on a cathode surface has been simulated under the conditions of E/P > 1 kV/(cm Torr), where E is the electric field strength and P is the gas pressure. It is established that a layer of dense gas-discharge plasma with a density of ∼1016 cm-3 is formed within a period of ∼1 ps as a result of the gas ionization by electrons emitted from the cathode. The current of fast electrons, which appears due to gas ionization is more than ten times greater than the field emission current and can reach I ∼ 1 A for one microscopic point.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)