Magnetic control of breakdown : toward energy-efficient hollow-cathode magnetron discharges

Baranov, O., Romanov, M., Kumar, S., Zong, X.X., & Ostrikov, K. (2011) Magnetic control of breakdown : toward energy-efficient hollow-cathode magnetron discharges. Journal of Applied Physics, 109(6), 063304-1.

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Characteristics of electrical breakdown of a planar magnetron enhanced with an electromagnet and a hollow-cathode structure, are studied experimentally and numerically. At lower pressures the breakdown voltage shows a dependence on the applied magnetic field, and the voltage necessary to achieve the self-sustained discharge regime can be significantly reduced. At higher pressures, the dependence is less sensitive to the magnetic field magnitude and shows a tendency of increased breakdown voltage at the stronger magnetic fields. A model of the magnetron discharge breakdown is developed with the background gas pressure and the magnetic field used as parameters. The model describes the motion of electrons, which gain energy by passing the electric field across the magnetic field and undergo collisions with neutrals, thus generating new bulk electrons. The electrons are in turn accelerated in the electric field and effectively ionize a sufficient amount of neutrals to enable the discharge self-sustainment regime. The model is based on the assumption about the combined classical and near-wall mechanisms of electron conductivity across the magnetic field, and is consistent with the experimental results. The obtained results represent a significant advance toward energy-efficient multipurpose magnetron discharges.

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3 citations in Scopus
4 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 73754
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1063/1.3553853
ISSN: 0021-8979
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 American Institute of Physics
Deposited On: 10 Jul 2014 05:06
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 22:02

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