Explosive field emission cathodes (EEC), used for the generation of relativistic electron beams, require short rise-time high-voltage pulses in order to minimize the extraction of off-energy electrons. To this end, a rise-time sharpening circuit has been developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The circuit consists of a 7 nF water-filled peaking capacitor with an integrated self-breakdown switch designed to operate up to -300 kV. This unit is intended to reduce the rise-time of a 4-stage Type-E PFN Marx Generator that will be used to study operational characteristics of velvet cathodes. Simulations of the peaking circuit show a reduction in voltage rise-time from over 100 ns to roughly 20 ns. Experimental results taken at 150 kV load voltage showed a reduction in rise-time from 98 ns to 16 ns. This thesis details the simulation, design, and testing of the peaking circuit.
Los Alamos National Lab
Level of Degree
Electrical and Computer Engineering
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Kallas, Nicholas D.. "Pulse Sharpening Circuit for Explosive Emission Cathode Driver." (2018). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/ece_etds/433