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Novel cathode for field-emission applications

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A CsI salt-based cathode which is capable of producing a modest perveance, 10 s of A/cm2 electron beam for several microseconds pulse lengths, and has little susceptibility to diode closure has been experimentally characterized. This explosive field-emission CsI-coated carbon fiber cathode has operated in modest 10-5 Torr vacuums at voltages up to 160 kV, and can easily be configured to provide space-charge-limited solid or annular electron beams in arbitrarily large diameter configurations. The CsI cathode has demonstrated negligible closure for 2 μs pulses, and has operated for 200 shots with no degradation in cathode performance. Data on the operating performance of this salt cathode, including effective gap time history and streak photographs demonstrating uniformity of the current density, are presented. A comparison of CsI cathode performance with a velvet explosive field emitting cathode used in electron-beam production is also presented. © 1995 American Institute of Physics.

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