Characteristics of pseudospark discharge in particle-in-cell simulations

Liang Zhang, Wenlong He, Xiaodong Chen, Jin Zhang, Adrian W. Cross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


In this article, the characteristics of the pseudospark (PS) discharge were studied through particle-in-cell simulations with the consideration of the external circuit. The different discharge stages, including the Townsend discharge, hollow cathode discharge, and super-dense glow, were characterized by the discharge voltage and current. The sources of electrons at different discharge stages were analyzed, with the electrons generated from the ionization of the background gas playing the dominant role. The electron densities at the Townsend discharge, hollow cathode discharge, and super-dense glow discharge stages were in the range of 1013, 1018, and 1020 m-3, respectively. The energy of the electron beam extracted at the anode aperture at different discharge phases was exported and postprocessed. The electron beams generated at the three stages have an energy spread of 10%, 20%, and 40%, respectively. The hollow cathode discharge phase has balanced parameters in beam energy, energy spread, and electron density in contrast to the Townsend discharge and super-dense glow discharge stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3003-3009
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number6
Early online date30 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021


  • pseudospark discharge
  • self-breakdown
  • particle-in-cell simulation
  • low press gas discharge


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