Investigation of sub-nanosecond breakdown through experimental and computational methods

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Title: Investigation of sub-nanosecond breakdown through experimental and computational methods
Author: Chaparro, Jordan E
Abstract: Sub -nanosecond breakdown , at sub -atmospheric pressures , is governed by significantly different physics when compared to standard breakdown processes . Applied field risetimes of 100s of ps combined with high peak amplitudes and short gap spacing allows for overvoltage to develop in the gap greatly exceeding static breakdown conditions . These conditions lead to a significant portion of electrons in the runaway mode and highly inhomogeneous charge distributions that greatly affect the scaling relationships for the discharge . The continued progression of pulsed power applications to shorter time scales makes a full understanding of such discharges necessary for the future development of devices relying on ultrafast , high voltage pulses . Insights into the physical background of sub -nanosecond breakdown are provided in this dissertation through both empirical analysis and numerical modeling . The modeling of the discharge is implemented through a customized particle -in -cell code combined with Monte -Carlo methods for simulating particle collisions . The results of the model show reasonable agreement to experimental results across the full range of test parameters . Additional insights into physical mechanisms that are not easily empirically measured are provided .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /14776
Date: 2008-08

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Investigation of sub-nanosecond breakdown through experimental and computational methods. Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /14776 .

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