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Operating a cesium sputter source in a pulsed mode

Journal article
Authors J. Blahins
Tobias Leopold
A. Apsitis
U. Berzins
A. Ubelis
Johan Rohlén
Di Lu
Dag Hanstorp
Published in Review of Scientific Instruments
Volume 91
Issue 2
ISSN 0034-6748
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Physics (GU)
Language en
Keywords doubly-excited states, high-intensity, Instruments & Instrumentation, Physics
Subject categories Physical Sciences


A scheme is presented for pulsing of a cesium sputter negative ion source by periodically switching on and off the high voltage driving the sputtering process. We demonstrate how the pulsed ion beam can be used in combination with a pulsed laser (6 ns pulse length) that has a 10 Hz repetition rate to study the photodetachment process, where a negative ion is neutralized due to the absorption of a photon. In such experiments, where the ion beam is used only for a small fraction of the time, we show that the pulsed mode operation can increase the lifetime of a cathode by two orders of magnitude as compared with DC operation. We also investigate how the peak ion current compares with the ion current obtained when the source is run in a DC mode. We find that the peak current in the pulsed mode is strongly dependent on the ion species. In some cases, we observed a strong enhancement, whereas others showed only a moderate enhancement, or even a decrease, in the peak current. We conclude that the pulsed mode operation can be of great value when the negative ion to be investigated requires cathodes that have short lifetimes, expensive materials, or those with relatively small ion beam yields, in the latter case limited to elements with large enhancement factors. Published under license by AIP Publishing.

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