- Conference date: 9–12 November 2011
- Location: Mumbai, India
When a high-intensity (∼ 250 mA/cm2), high-energy (∼ 48 kV) electron-beam (∼ 85 kW) produces zirconium vapor in an evacuated vessel, zirconium plasma is formed in the free space above the evaporating source. The plasma is produced by electron-impact ionization of the evaporated atoms and expands with the vapor. It is weakly ionized (∼ 0.1% degree of ionization) and has low electron temperature (∼ 0.3 eV). In applications like laser based isotope separation and purification of alloys, this electron-beam generated continuous plasma interferes detrimentally with the laser produced pulsed photoplasma which is pure. Hence there is a need to remove the plasma before it flows to the photoplasma region. In this paper we describe the studies on extraction of zirconium plasma by electrostatic field in parallel-pate geometry. It was observed that with increase of electron-beam current, the extractor plates were charged by the scattered electrons. This resulted in development of a negative voltage across the plates. However with the onset of melting and production of plasma, this voltage was reduced to zero.
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