Low-temperature electrical discharge through solid xenon

A uniform self-sustained electrical discharge through solid xenon is realized and studied. The multiplication of electrons proceeds in the noble gas above the xenon crystal interface, whereas a positive feedback is realized on account of multiple exciton formation by excess electrons drifting through the crystal: molecular excitons emit VUV photons which knock out secondary electrons from photosensitive cathode. The discharge is stimulated by a short electrical spark along the sample axes. The electrical properties of the discharge and the electroluminescence spectra of solid xenon in the UV and visible are studied. Electrical discharge in solid xenon proves to be an effective source of UV radiation and a convenient tool for studying processes involving excitons and electrons in solid xenon at high pressures. 

Self-maintenance of an electrical discharge requires replacement of the electrons and ions that go to the electrodes. In gases this replacement results from ionization of atoms by electron impact. In contrast to gases, where the electron energy distribution function has a long tail, in condensed heavy gases, due to effective excitation of atoms, ionization of atoms by impact with the faster electrons is absent. Nevertheless, the conditions of self-maintenance may be satisfied in solid inert gases if electrons are injected from outside, where they are formed under cathode bombardment by VUV photons which in turn are generated inside the condensed inert gas by these electrons drifting in an external electric field. This scheme was devised and then implemented in solid xenon. The aim of the present paper is to create a reproducible uniform electrical discharge in solid xenon by a brute force technique applicable in principle to solid xenon at high pressures. Brief results from the study of such a discharge through solid xenon at ambient pressure are reported.

Share This Post

More To Explore

Introducing EFS’s Fusion Energy AI Ambassador

BROOMFIELD, Colo., September 21, 2023 (Newswire.com) – Electric Fusion Systems (EFS) acknowledges the challenges faced in conveying the intricacies of our novel fusion approach to

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates from the bleeding edge of electric fusion

Electric Fusion Systems 3D