Current status of plasma emission electronics: I. Basic physical processes
This paper reviews the physical phenomena that accompany the emission of electrons and ions from plasma. The development of plasma emission electronics as an independent research field is closely associated with the name of its founder, Professor Kreindel Yu. E. The well-known advantages of plasma electron emitters (plasma cathodes) are the higher emission current density, the pulsed emission capability, and the wider range of residual gas pressures. A peculiar property of the plasma cathode is the possibility of extracting practically all electrons from plasma. The parameters of an ion and electron beam extracted from plasma carry information about the physical processes occurring in the plasma. This makes it possible to invoke emission methods to study the fundamental phenomena that take place in plasma of vacuum arc and low-pressures gas discharges.(Received April 1 2003)
(Accepted May 16 2003)
Key Words: Arc discharge; Electron beam; Ion beam; Low-pressure gas discharge; Plasma; Time-of-flight.
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