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Gas discharge in a gas peaking switch

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2005

Department of Electrical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Department of Electrical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
Department of Electrical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China


The gas discharge in a gas peaking switch was experimentally studied and numerically simulated. For simulation, the discharge was divided into two phases, gas breakdown and voltage collapse. The criterion for an electron avalanche to transit to streamer was considered as the criterion of gas breakdown. The spark channel theory developed by Rompe-Weizel was used to calculate the spark resistance. It was found that the prepulse considerably lowers the voltage pulse applied to the gap. Even for a given input pulse, the voltage pulse applied to a peaking gap is different for different gap distance due to existence of a different prepulse. In this case, the breakdown voltage of a gas peaking gap depends on gas pressure and gap distance, individually. For nitrogen pressure varying from 3 MPa to 10 MPa and gap distance from 0.6 mm to 1.2 mm, the peak electric field higher than 2 MV/cm was achieved when breakdown. The output 10% to 90% rise time, tr, varies from 145 ps to 192 ps. As gas pressure increases, tr decreases, which can be explained by the fact that the breakdown field increases with the increase of gas pressure. It was found in experiment that the jitter in tr could be attributed to the jitter in breakdown field. Instead of getting longer, the averaged experimental tr gets shorter as gap distance increases from 0.6 mm to 1.2 mm, which differs from the results of calculation and indicates there may exist something, other than electric field, that is also related to tr. The reason for this difference may lies in the inverse coefficient of spark resistance varying with gap distance. On the whole, the results from the calculations agree with the experimental ones.

Research Article
© 2005 Cambridge University Press

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