The individual contributions of various gas discharge mechanisms to total pre-breakdown current in microgaps are quantified numerically. The variation of contributions of field emission and secondary electron emission with increasing electric field shows contrasting behavior even for a given gap size. The total current near breakdown decreases rapidly with gap size indicating that microscale discharges operate in a high-current, low-voltage regime. This study provides the first such analysis of breakdown mechanisms and aids in the formulation of physics-based theories for microscale breakdown


Copyright (2013) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in (A. Semnani, A. Venkattraman*, A. Alexeenko, and D. Peroulis, “Pre-breakdown evaluation of gas discharge mechanisms in microgaps”, Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 102, 174102, 4 pages, 2013.) and may be found at (http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4803179). The following article has been submitted to/accepted by [Applied Physics Letters]. After it is published, it will be found at (http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4803179). Copyright (2013) A. Semnani, A. Venkattraman*, A. Alexeenko, and D. Peroulis. This article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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