A radio frequency (rf) plasma-based electron source that does not rely on electron emission at a cathode surface has been constructed. All of the random electron flux incident on an exit aperture is extracted through an electron sheath resulting in total nonambipolar flow within the device when the ratio of the ion loss area to the electron loss area is approximately equal to the square root of the ratio of the ion mass to the electron mass, and the ion sheath potential drop at the chamber walls is much larger than . The nonambipolar electron source (NES) has an axisymmetric magnetic field of at the extraction aperture that results in a uniform plasma potential across the aperture, allowing the extraction of all the incident electron flux without the use of grids. A prototype NES has produced of continuous electron current, using (SCCM denotes cubic centimeter per minute at STP) Ar, rf power at , and 6 times gas utilization. Alternatively of electron current can be produced, using Ar at rf and 20 times gas utilization. NES could replace hollow cathode electron sources in a wide variety of applications.
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Research Article| November 30 2006
Nonambipolar electron source
B. Longmier, S. Baalrud, N. Hershkowitz; Nonambipolar electron source. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 1 November 2006; 77 (11): 113504. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2393164
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