Development of the arc attachment at HID lamp electrodes in the range from low to RF-frequencies

Jens Reinelt, Oliver Langenscheidt, Michael Westermeier, Peter Awakowicz, Jürgen Mentel

Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 41 (2008)


At cathodes of high intensity discharges two different modes of arc attachment are observed: a diffuse mode characterized by a low current density and a uniformly distributed high global temperature, and a spot mode with a high current density and a high local but low global surface temperature. For dc and low frequency operation an investigation of these different modes has already been presented. Different modes of arc attachment are shown in the case of RF operation (up to 1 MHz operation frequency) of the Bochum model lamp. Images of the arc attachment demonstrate that with increasing frequencies the occurrence of the spot mode is reduced. But it cannot be excluded that it arises accidentally at high frequencies. It is found that with increasing frequency the differences between the electrode tip temperature in the cathodic and the anodic half period are levelled and that the course of the electrode sheath voltage (ESV(t)) adjusts to the sinusoidal current waveform resulting in an increase in the average power input into the electrodes with proceeding adjustment. Moreover, it indicates a reshaping of the electrode boundary layers.


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