Simulation of the formation of a runaway electron beam in an overvolted gas gap breakdown

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The paper reports on numerical simulation to inquire into the breakdown of a gas-filled diode in a highly inhomogeneous electric field. It is shown that early in the breakdown a runaway electron beam (RAEB) is formed in the diode and this strongly affects the rate of breakdown development. The energy gained by RAEB electrons corresponds to the electron energy gained under the same conditions in vacuum. The properties of the emission surface of the cathode determine the instant at which the beam is formed during subnanosecond voltage pulse rise time and hence the beam current and the energy spectrum of runaway electrons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113303
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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