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Article

Modeling of the effect of field electron emission from the cathode with a thing insulating film on its emission efficiency in gas discharge plasma

Vacuum. 2018. Vol. 149. P. 114-117.
Bondarenko G.G., Kristya V. I., Savichkin D. O.

A model of field electron emission from the metal cathode with a thin insulating film under the strong
electric field, generated in the film by ions bombarding its surface in gas discharge, is developed. It takes
into account tunneling of electrons from the electrode metal substrate into the insulating film, their
motion in the film and going out of it into the discharge volume. An analytical solution of the onedimensional
kinetic equation for the energy distribution function of emitted electrons in the film conduction
band is found and an expression for the film emission efficiency equal to the fraction of emitted
electrons, which escapes from the film and increases the cathode effective secondary electron emission
yield, is obtained. It is demonstrated that calculated dependence of the emission efficiency on the electric
field strength in the aluminum oxide film is in an agreement with experimental data for metal-insulatormetal
tunneling cathodes. The proposed model can be used for investigation of an influence of the field
electron emission from the cathode with a thin insulating film on its emission characteristics in gas
discharge devices.