Accession Number:

ADA359078

Title:

Plasma Deposition of Oxide-Coated Cathodes

Descriptive Note:

Doctoral thesis

Corporate Author:

CALIFORNIA UNIV DAVIS DEPT OF APPLIED SCIENCE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1998-09-01

Pagination or Media Count:

101.0

Abstract:

Vacuum arc deposition is employed to create a barium andor strontium plasma which is subsequently depositedimplanted onto a nickel cathode substrate. The primary motivation for this work is the critical need for a reliable, repeatable, long-lived thermionic cathode for the production of high power, microsecond duration microwave pulses such cathodes may also have applicability for lower current density continuous wave devices. This novel approach to manufacturing an oxide cathode eliminates the binders that may subsequently and unpredictably poison cathode emission. Removal of the poisoning mechanisms has yielded oxide cathodes capable of emission densities in the 20 Asq cm regime. Cathode lifetime and emission may be varied via the control over the deposition parameters such as coating thickness, implantation energy, and plasma stoichiometry. The deposition is performed by generating a cathodic arc discharge at the surface of a barium or barium-strontium alloy rod. The metal plasma thus created is then deposited on the substrate which can be negatively biased to encourage implantation during the deposition process. The deposition is performed with sufficient background oxygen present to oxidize the highly reactive metal coating. The plasma deposition is monitored via a rate thickness monitor, an optical emission spectrometer for plasma composition information, and an electrostatic Langmuir probe for the determination of the plasma density and temperature profile. Cathodes thus produced are analyzed by drawing pulsed current at a constant voltage for various values of decreasing cathode temperature in order to generate practical work function distributions which provide an indication of the quality and expected life time of the cathode.

Subject Categories:

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment
  • Coatings, Colorants and Finishes
  • Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE