The breakdown characteristics of a discharge tube with a configuration typical of gas-discharge light sources and electric-discharge lasers (a so-called “long discharge tube”) filled with argon or helium at a pressure of 1 Torr have been investigated. A breakdown has been implemented using positive and negative voltage pulses with a linear leading edge having a slope dU/dt ~ 10–107 V/s. Visible light from an external source (halogen incandescent lamp) is found to affect the breakdown characteristics. The dependences of the dynamic breakdown voltage of the tube on dU/dt and on the incident light intensity are measured. The breakdown voltage is found to decrease under irradiation of the high-voltage anode of the tube in a wide range of dU/dt. A dependence of the effect magnitude on the light intensity and spectrum is obtained. Possible physical mechanisms of this phenomenon are discussed.
|Journal||Optics and Spectroscopy (English translation of Optika i Spektroskopiya)|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|