INVESTIGATION OF THE MONOCAPILLARY THERMIONIC EMITTER AS A DUAL SOURCE OF IONS AND ELECTRONS
Quarterly technical progress rept. no. 3, 15 May-15 Aug 62.
GENERAL MOTORS CORP INDIANAPOLIS IND ALLISON DIV
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Theoretical work is reported to describe a model of a capillary thermionic emitter in which the neutral cesium density varies from some high value at the entrance to some low value at the exit. As a consequence of this model, the plasma density, the sheath potential, and the sheath thickness vary along the capillary. From this model, electron emission is predicted and compared with experimental results obtained on a monocapillary structure. Experimental results are reported from two multicapillary converters which operated for a total of 43 hours to show, under some conditions, that the power densit of the capillary converter may be from 10 to 50 times higher than a conventional tantalum converter. The capillary converter data demonstrate an insensitivity to electrode spacing over the range from 0.5 to 1.0 mm. The preparation procedure is given for operating the converters, and the circumstances of failure are reviewed. Author