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
Date of this Version
Semnani, Abbas; Venkattraman, Ayyaswamy; Alexeenko, Alina A.; and Peroulis, Dimitrios, "Pre-breakdown evaluation of gas discharge mechanisms in microgaps" (2013). School of Aeronautics and Astronautics Faculty Publications. Paper 10.