An Optically Controlled Diffuse Discharge Switch
TEXAS TECH UNIV LUBBOCK DEPT OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
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Theoretical investigations of an optically controlled plasma switch in a divertor circuit show that significant power amplification can be expected by using appropriate gas mixtures in a high pressure, 1 atm volume discharge. Controlled increase of plasma conductivity is obtained by two-step photoionization of excited molecules using a high power visible laser. Admixtures of an electronegative gas cause a rapid decline of conductivity due to electron attachment after laser turn-off. Further reduction of the switch opening time can be obtained either by additional optical excitation of strongly attaching vibrationally excited molecules or by using attachers with attachment rates increasing with rising field strength.
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