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Structure of the potential barrier at a metal boundary

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In [1] the peculiarities of autoelectronic emission in an arc discharge plasma (F –P emission) connected with nonlinearity in the potential change in the precathode region were considered; it was shown that in the case where the negative electron charge density in the precathode layer can be neglected, the current density of F–P emission can differ by more than an order of magnitude from autoelectronic emission current density in a vacuum, as obtained with the Nordheim-Fowler expression. For the case where the precathode potential drop Vc is equal to the cathode work function ϕ, the modulus of the logarithm of the potential barrier transparency increases by 20% and the emission current density can decrease by a significant amount. An analogous change in current density can occur with other ratios between the quantities Vc and ϕ. In the present study we will consider these questions in greater detail for cases in which the negative space charge density cannot be neglected.

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Literature cited

  1. 1.

    A. A. Porotnikov and B. B. Rodnevich, “Autoemission of electrons into a plasma,” Zh. Prikl. Mekh. Tekh. Fiz., No. 6 (1976).

  2. 2.

    M. I. Elinson and G. F. Vasil'ev, Autoelectronic Emission [in Russian], Fizmatgiz, Moscow (1958).

  3. 3.

    V. I. Rakhovskii, Physical Principles of Electrical Current Commutation in a Vacuum [in Russian], Nauka, Moscow (1970).

  4. 4.

    V. V. Batygin and I. P. Toptygin, Collected Problems in Electrodynamics [in Russian], Fizmatgiz, Moscow (1962).

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Translated from Zhurnal Prikladnoi Mekhaniki i Tekhnicheskoi Fiziki, No. 5, pp. 80–86, September–October, 1978.

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Porotnikov, A.A., Podnevich, B.B. Structure of the potential barrier at a metal boundary. J Appl Mech Tech Phys 19, 639–643 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00850607

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  • Charge Density
  • Potential Barrier
  • Discharge Plasma
  • Potential Drop
  • Space Charge Density