Electron Gun Technology
Final rept. 1 May 1972-30 Sep 1976
HUGHES RESEARCH LABS MALIBU CA
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The first gun developed was the plasma cathode electron gun. The electron source in this device is a plasma generated within a low-voltage, hollow-cathode discharge a thermionic emitter is not required. Electrons extracted from the plasma pass through a triode-type control grid structure and are accelerated to high energies in a plasma-free region prior to emerging from the gun through a thin foil window. The device, which is capable of both pulsed and cw operation, is characterized by durability, low cost, low power consumption, small size, and fast turn-on in comparison to thermionic e-guns. Most recent efforts on the program have been directed to developing the ion plasma electon gun. Potential advantages for this gun include high-voltage operation 400 kV, high output current density 5 to 10 Asq. cm. pulsed, pulsed and cw operation, monoenergetic e-beam, dc high voltage power supply for repetitively pulsed operation, and no control electronics floating at high voltage. In this gun, a low-pressure, thin-wire discharge produces ions which are accelerated to collide with the cathode. Secondary electrons are emitted at the cathode and are accelerated by the same high voltage and extracted through a foil window. Experimental results with a 4 cm x 40 cm aperture test device have demonstrated the concept of the ion plasma e-gun.
- Electrical and Electronic Equipment
- Lasers and Masers