Temperature distribution dependence on refractory anode thickness in a vacuum arc: Experiment

Isak I. Beilis, Yosef Koulik, Raymond L. Boxman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The time-dependent anode temperature was measured in a hot refractory anode vacuum arc (HRAVA) sustained between a consumed water-cooled cylindrical Cu cathode and nonconsumed cylindrical W anodes with thicknesses of d = 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 mm separated by gaps of 5, 10, 15, and 20 mm. Arc currents of I = 130, 150, 175, and 200 A were applied for periods up to 210 s. The anode temperature was measured using high-temperature thermocouples at different points in the anode body. The visual radiation emitted by the plasma plume was recorded with a digital camera. The anode temperature increased with time, reaching a steady-state value which slightly increased with arc current. The anode temperature decreased with the gap and was higher for thinner anodes. When d was increased from 5 to 30 mm, the time for the anode front-surface temperature to reach the steady state increased from 45 to 140 s, while this temperature decreased from 2525 to 2325 K (I = 175 A). Thus, minimizing d advantageously minimizes the start-up transient when using the radially expanding HRAVA plasma plume for thin-film deposition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5740613
Pages (from-to)1303-1306
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number6 PART 1
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Anode temperature
  • anode thickness
  • refractory anode
  • thermocouple
  • vacuum arc


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