A Model For a Uniform Steady-State Vacuum Arc With a Hot Anode

Raymond L. Boxman, S. Goldsmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A model is formulated and evaluated for a uniform electrical discharge sustained in vapor evaporated from an arc-heated anode. The plasma potential is positive with respect to both the cathode and anode. For a Cu anode, the anodic vapor will dominate the plasma for current densities exceeding 8 kA/m2. The anode heating potential is approximately 6.5 V, and the predominate cooling mechanism is evaporation for current densities exceeding 20 kA/m2. Over the range 10 to 10 000 kA/m2, the electron density increases from 8 x 1017 to 5 ×1023 m-3, while the ionization fraction rises from 0.3 to 4 percent. At the lower end of this current range the electrical resistivity of 4 mΩ-m is determined primarily by electron-neutral collisions, while with increasing current the resistivity decreases to 0.7 mΩ-m, with electronion collisions contributing an equal share. This hot-anode vacuum arc may have potential for industrial application as a macroparticle-frec high deposition rate coating source.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-665
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1989
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'A Model For a Uniform Steady-State Vacuum Arc With a Hot Anode'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this