This paper presents and discusses the experimental data obtained in the investigation of a short-arc high-pressure xenon discharge in dc and pulse-periodic operation modes. In the case of the dc discharge, the main focus of attention is the cathode material (thorium) evaporation into the plasma. Spectroscopic measurements show that this process strongly influences the plasma characteristics and first of all the plasma optical emission. Due to low ionization energy, thorium atoms decrease the plasma temperature at the cathode, which is confirmed by experimentally obtained spectra with an unexpectedly low optical emission temperature. The fact cannot be interpreted without the assumption of cathode material evaporation: in a homogeneous short-arc gas discharge with a conical cathode, the emission temperature at the cathode should not be low because the strength of the electric field is obviously maximal near the cathode tip. The findings are important for modeling discharges of such kind. For the pulse-periodic discharge, two effects are described: a decrease in the anode temperature and an increase in the light efficiency of about 35% in some discharge conditions. These can be used for the development of more powerful and effective xenon light sources.
Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics