Study of the beam profile and position instability of a post-accelerated pseudospark-sourced electron beam

J. Zhao, H. Yin, L. Zhang, G. Shu, W. He, A. D. R. Phelps, A. W. Cross, L. Pang, Q. Zhang

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A pseudospark-sourced electron beam is a promising candidate for driving a THz millimeter wave radiation source. However, the physics governing the electron beam density profile and the beam center deviation from the axis of the structure, which may be caused by the randomness in the pseudospark discharge process, remains still unclear especially for the high energy component of the pseudospark-sourced electron beam which is usually non-mono-energetic. It is essential to study the electron beam density profile and the beam center position distribution for optimizing the pseudospark discharge configuration. In this paper, images of some single-shot electron beam pulses have been captured using a 50 μm thickness stopping copper foil and a phosphor screen coated with P47 scintillator to study the electron beam density profile and the beam center position distribution of the high energy component of the electron beam. The experiments have been carried out on two pseudospark discharge configurations with two different size hollow cathode cavities. The influence of the cathode aperture of each configuration has also been studied according to the beam images. Experimental results show that the beam profile of the high energy component has a Lorentzian distribution and is much smaller than the axial aperture size with the beam centers dispersing within a certain range around the axis of the discharge structure. The pseudospark-sourced electron beam with the larger hollow cathode cavity shows smaller full width at half maximum (FWHM) radius and a more concentrated beam center distribution.
Original languageEnglish
Article number033118
Number of pages5
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number3
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Mar 2017



  • pseudospark-sourced electron beam
  • electron beam density
  • pseudospark discharge
  • beam profile

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