Optically enhanced attachment processes in diffuse discharges
Holmberg, Courtney Doyal
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During the last several years, interest In high voltage switches for pulsed power applications has increased significantly. One main concern in the field of pulsed power Is that of energy storage. While inductive energy storage systems have space and weight savings when compared with capacitive energy storage systems, they also require the use of a high power opening switch. Therefore, opening switch technology has started to be developed, and several concepts for opening switches are currently being studied. One particular concept is that of the diffuse discharge opening switch, which has several advantages over other types of opening switches. A significant advantage of the diffuse discharge opening switch is that it may be externally controlled by optical means or by an electron beam. In this paper, three experiments are presented which study the use of optically enhanced attachment as a discharge control mechanism in diffuse discharges. The first experiment demonstrates the effect of UV enhanced attachment in an externally sustained discharge. The second experiment shows the effect of IR illumination in a self sustained discharge. The last experiment demonstrates the effect of IR enhanced attachment in an externally sustained discharge. Future experiments in optically enhanced attachment are also discussed.