The gas phase emitter effect of lanthanum within ceramic metal halide lamps and its dependence on the La vapor pressure and operating frequency

Cornelia Ruhrmann, Thomas Höbing, Andre Bergner, Sven Gröger, C. Denissen, J. Suijker, Peter Awakowicz, Jürgen Mentel

DOI: 10.1063/1.4927734


The gas phase emitter effect increases the lamp lifetime by lowering the work function and, with it, the temperature of the tungsten electrodes of metal halide lamps especially for lamps in ceramic vessels due to their high rare earth pressures. It is generated by a monolayer on the electrode surface of electropositive atoms of certain emitter elements, which are inserted into the lamp bulb by metal iodide salts. They are vaporized, dissociated, ionized, and deposited by an emitter ion current onto the electrode surface within the cathodic phase of lamp operation with a switched-dc or ac-current. The gas phase emitter effect of La and the influence of Na on the emitter effect of La are studied by spatially and phase-resolved pyrometric measurements of the electrode tip temperature, La atom, and ion densities by optical emission spectroscopy as well as optical broadband absorption spectroscopy and arc attachment images by short time photography. An addition of Na to the lamp filling increases the La vapor pressure within the lamp considerably, resulting in an improved gas phase emitter effect of La. Furthermore, the La vapor pressure is raised by a heating of the cold spot. In this way, conditions depending on the La vapor pressure and operating frequency are identified, at which the temperature of the electrodes becomes a minimum. (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.