Journal Article Optimum Breakdown Charge for Maximum Dielectric Strength in Spark Conditioning in Vacuum under a Non-uniform Electric Field

Kojima, H.  ,  Takahashi, T.  ,  Hayakawa, N.  ,  Hasegawa, K.  ,  Sakaki, M.

Spark conditioning is an effective method of increasing the dielectric strength in vacuum. In this paper, we determined the breakdown (BD) charge dependence for spark conditioning in vacuum under various non-uniform electric fields and with different anode materials. We discuss the BD mechanism in terms of BD arising from anode heating or cathode heating. Experimental results revealed that for anode heating BD, the longer the gap distance, the larger the BD charge needed to obtain maximum dielectric strength. In contrast, for cathode heating BD, the BD charge for maximum dielectric strength was smaller than that for anode heating BD. From these results, we estimated the optimal BD charge to maximize the 50% BD electric field strength, i.e. the dielectric strength, for spark conditioning in vacuum.

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