Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-15-2018


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 o ff-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.


Pulsed Power


Los Alamos National Lab

Document Type




Degree Name

Electrical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Edl Schamiloglu

Second Committee Member

Sandra Biedron

Third Committee Member

Brian McCuistian