Two-component structure of the current pulse of a ranaway electron beam generated during electric breakdown of elevated-pressure nitrogen
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Conditions are investigated at which two current pulses of ranaway electron beams are generated in elevated-pressure nitrogen during one voltage pulse. It is shown that the regime with two runaway electron beam current pulses takes place at decreased values of the electric field strength E in the gap (or decreased values of the parameter E/p, where p is the gas pressure). The regime with two runaway electron beam current pulses is observed both at high (1500–3000 Torr) and low (below 100 Torr) pressures. It is shown that, for the second runaway electron beam current pulse to form, the voltage across the gap should be partially reduced during the first pulse. At low nitrogen pressures (~10 Torr), the regime in which two runaway electron beams are generated can be implemented by increasing the breakdown strength of the gap and/or increasing the value of E/p. In experiments carried out in atmospheric-pressure air with a picosecond time resolution, a rather complicated structure of the beam current pulse is observed at a voltage rise time of ~300 ps.
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