PLASMA CATHODE FOR HIGH POWER PHOTOIONIZED LASERS AND PLASMA SWITCHES

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 10302
Amount: $268,381.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1992
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Tetra Corp.
4905 Hawkins Ne, Albuquerque, NM, 87109
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Dr Juan M Elizondo
 (505) 345-8623
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
EFFICIENCY OF HIGH POWER UV-PHOTOIONIZED EXCIMER AND CO2 LASERS HAVE BEEN LIMITED BY THE POWER CONSUMED IN THE PHOTOIONIZED SOURCE. THE USE OF SCREEN CATHODES PRESENTS THE PROBLEM OF MECHANICAL STRENGTH. SCREEN CATHODES MADE OUT OF WIRE MESH ARE EXCELLENT LIGHT TRANSMITTERS BUT LACK MECHANICAL STRENGTH, NOT TO MENTION THAT THEY CAN BE DESTROYED BY ARCING. CATHODES MADE OUT OF PERFORATED ALUMINUM OR STAINLESS STEEL ARE MECHANICALLY SOUND, BUT LIGHT TRANSMISION IS NO BETTER THAN 60%. IF THE WORK BEING PERFORMED IS SUCCESSFUL, THE USE OF SCREENS IN BETWEEN THE PHOTIONIZATION SOURCE AND THE MAIN DISCHARGE WOULD BE ELIMINATED BY INTEGRATING THE PHOTOIONIZATION SOURCE TO THE CATHODE SURFACE. A SECOND MORE IMPORTANT TECHNOLOGY BREAKTHROUGH IS THE ABILITY OF THIS CONCEPT TO WORK AT VERY HIGH FREQUENCIES, FROM A FEW KILOHERTZ UP TO HUNDREDS OF MEGAHERTZ. THESE HIGH REPETION RATES ARE POSSBIEL DUE TO THE EXTREMELY LOW INDUCTANCE OF THE CONCEPT AND THE WAY THE COUPLING WITH THE DRIVING CIRCUIT COULD BE CHANGED FROM CAPACTIVE TO RESISTIVE OR A TUNED COMBINATION. DEVELOPMENT OF THIS TECHNOLOGY IN THE LARGE SURFACE, HIGH CURRENT DENSITY REGIMENS WOULD REPRESENT A MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH IN CATHODE TECHNOLOGY. SOME OF THE ADVANTAGES, IMPLICIT TO THE DESIGN, ARE THE CURRENT AND VOLTAGE GAIN. SUCCESSFUL DEVELOPMENT OF THE PLASMA-CATHODE WOULD RESULT IN MORE COMPACT AND MECHANICALLY SOUND PHOTOIONIZED EXCIMER AND PLASMA SWITCHES, AS WELL AS AT LEAST A 40% ENHANCEMENT IN THE UV USAGE FROM THE PHOTOIONIZATION SOURCE.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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