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Particle-in-cell simulation of gas breakdown in micro-gaps

journal contribution
posted on 2008-02-25, 08:42 authored by M. Radmilovíc-Radjenovíc, Jae Koo Lee, Felipe IzaFelipe Iza, G.Y. Park
Gas breakdown in large scale systems has been widely studied and is reasonably well understood. Deviations from the well-known Paschen law, however, have been reported in microgaps. One possible mechanism responsible for these deviations is the increase of the secondary electron emission yield due to the quantum tunnelling of electrons from the metal electrodes to the gas phase. The high electric fields obtained in small gaps combined with the lowering of the potential barrier seen by the electrons in the cathode as an ion approaches lead to the onset of ion-enhanced field emissions. Particle-in-cell/Monte Carlo simulations including ion-enhanced field emission have been performed to evaluate the importance of these mechanisms in the discharge breakdown. Deviations from the Paschen curve in gaps smaller than 5μm can be explained based on this mechanism.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


RADMILOVÍC-RADJENOVÍC, M. ... et al, 2005. Particle-in-cell simulation of gas breakdown in micro-gaps. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 38, pp.950–954.


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This article is Closed Access. It was published in the journal, Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics [© Institute of Physics Publishing]. The definitive version (doi:10.1088/0022-3727/38/6/027) is available at: http://www.iop.org/EJ/journal/JPhysD




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