Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-24-2020


Microwave vacuum electron devices are a critical part of communication satellite payloads. The phenomenon of multipactor breakdown (MPB) can cause the performance of these devices to deteriorate, including their partial or total destruction. MPB depends on a number of factors, including the secondary electron yield (SEY) of materials used within the device. The process of electron multiplication, which leads to breakdown, initiates with the impact of primary electrons on target surfaces, and the resonance of free electrons within an oscillating electromagnetic field under vacuum conditions. Therefore, it is of interest to find materials and surface treatment methods that exhibit low SEY. This thesis work describes controlled measurements of SEY from electron bombardment of several materials in the low energy regime, from 10 eV to 1 keV. Materials studied include copper (Cu), silver, stainless steel, aluminum 6061 (Al), monel, nickel/cobalt and invar. In addition, different surface treatment methods employed in this study are described, which illustrate that SEY is a surface-specific process.


Multipactor Breakdown, SEY, Ultrasonic Cleaning, Density Functional Theory, Monte Carlo, Baking



Document Type




Degree Name

Electrical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr Mark Gilmore

Second Committee Member

Dr Salvador Portillo

Third Committee Member

Dr Edl Schamiloglu