BASIC RESEARCH IN THERMIONIC CONVERTERS.
Final rept., 1 May 62-31 Oct 63,
RCA LABS PRINCETON N J
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Apparatus and measurement techniques for studies of the effects of adding noble gases to operating cesium vapor thermionic converters are described. Experimental results on the effect of adding helium and argon at pressures up to several tens of torr are given. The thermionic converter operating in the low-temperature arc mode is relatively insensitive to noble gas additives. The observed effects of gas dosing are small and can be summarized as follows the discharge becomes more stable and the glow region in the interelectrode space becomes more uniformly distributed. The electron transport properties of the diode are adversely affected at high current densities and large electrodes spacings. The output voltage at low current levels increases upon introduction of noble gases. Theoretical interpretations of these results are described. Author