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Investigation of cathode spots and plasma formation of vacuum arcs by

: Siemroth, P.; Schülke, T.; Witke, T.; Rackwitz, N.

Anders, S. ; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; American Physical Society -APS-:
XVII.International Symposium on Discharges and Electrical Insulation in Vacuum 1996. Proceedings
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 1996
ISBN: 0-7803-2906-6
ISBN: 0-7803-2907-4
ISBN: 0-7803-2908-2
International Symposium on Discharges and Electrical Insulation in Vacuum (ISDEIV) <17, 1996, Berkeley/Calif.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IWS ()
Bogentechnologie; plasma-Diagnostik; plasma; PVD; Optik; Spektroskopie

Though the vacuum arc cathode spot has been under investigation for more than a century, its structure and operation is still discussed controversially. Experimentally measured parameters and descriptions of the visible structures given by different authors far from provide a uniform picture. In the present paper, the wide range of findings, parameter values and phenomenological descriptions are explained as different semblances of a complex structured object. The random behavior of all arc spot related parameters, mostly stated as a factor complicating their accessibility, gives the key to a better understanding of its nature. It is shown that the arc spot is mainly characterized by the statistical self-similarity of its structure. Recognizing fractal structures as one of the main features of the arc spot, its comparable appearance on different spatial scales is understandable. Scale dependent values of structure dimensions and time constants are inevitable consequences of this "fractal picture"