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Breakdown resistance of refractory metals compared to copper

By M Taborelli, S Calatroni and M Kildemo


The behaviour of Mo, W and Cu with respect to electrical breakdown in ultra high vacuum has been investigated by means of a capacitor discharge method. The maximum stable electric field without breakdown and the field enhancement factor, beta have been measured between electrodes of the same material in a sphere/plane geometry for anode and cathode, respectively. The maximum stable field increases as a function of the number of breakdown events for W and Mo. In contrast, no systematic increase is observed for Cu. The highest values obtained are typically 500 MV/m for W, 350 MV/m for Mo and only 180 MV/m for Cu. This conditioning, found for the refractory metals, corresponds to a simultaneous decrease of beta and is therefore related to the field emission properties of the surface and their modification upon sparking. Accordingly, high beta values and no applicable field increase occur for Cu even after repeated breakdown. The results are compared with RF breakdown experiments [1] performed on prototype 30 GHz accelerating structures for the CLIC accelerator

Topics: Engineering
Year: 2004
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Provided by: CERN Document Server
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