Can Surface Cracks and Unipolar Arcs Explain Breakdown and Gradient Limits?

TitleCan Surface Cracks and Unipolar Arcs Explain Breakdown and Gradient Limits?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsInsepov, Z, Norem, J
Date Published11/2012
Other NumbersANL/MCS-P3058-1112
Abstract

<p>We argue that the physics of unipolar arcs and surface cracks can help understand rf breakdown, and vacuum arc data. We outline a model of the basic mechanisms involved in breakdown and explore how the physics of unipolar arcs and cracks can simplify the picture of breakdown and gradient limits in accelerators, tokamaks as well as laser ablation, micrometeorites and other applications. Cracks are commonly seen in SEM images of arc damage and they are produced as the liquid metal cools. They can produce the required eld enhancements to explain eld emission data and can produce mechanical failure of the surface that would trigger breakdown events. Unipolar arcs can produce currents sufficient to short out rf structures, should cause the sort of damage seen in SEM images. They should be unstable, and possibly self-quenching, as seen in optical fluctuations and surface damage. We address some details and consider the benets of this simple model.</p>

PDFhttp://www.mcs.anl.gov/papers/P3058-1112.pdf