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Coatings 2017, 7(6), 75; doi:10.3390/coatings7060075

Surface Erosion of Low-Current Reed Switches

Ryazan Metal Ceramics Instrumentation Plant Joint Stock Company (RMCIP JSC), Novaya Str. 51B, 390027 Ryazan, Russia
Limited Liability Company “Ecton”, Innovation Center Skolkovo, Lugovaya Str. 4/1, 143026 Moscow, Russia
Physical Department, Yesenin Ryazan State University, Svoboda Str. 46, 390000 Ryazan, Russia
Department of Nano- and Microelectronics, Ryazan State Radio Engineering University, Gagarin Str. 59/1, 390005 Ryazan, Russia
Centre for Physics and Technological Research (CeFITec), Departamento de Física da Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mark D. Soucek
Received: 18 April 2017 / Revised: 13 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
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The erosion model of the surface coatings of reed switches considering different physicochemical processes occurring on the contact surfaces and inside the inter-electrode gap was proposed. According to that, the discrete electron avalanche (ecton) introduced in the explosive electron emission theory by Mesyats is considered as the main motive force responsible for the surface modification and mass transfer of materials in the course of breaking/shorting of the contacts. By means of SEM imaging and energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis of the contact surfaces after various numbers of switching cycles, the energy threshold of the ecton generation defining the erosion stability of the coatings was found to be proportional to the specific sublimation and ionization energies of coating materials. It has been shown that the total erosion of the coatings on the working surface of the contacts after the commutation test possess the resultant character; i.e., the specificities of erosion occurring after each commutation event are characteristic for the whole of the commutation test. In further development of our model, we suggested that a few monolayers of metals (or alloys) with low ionization potential deposited on the main coatings can improve the erosion stability of contacts. View Full-Text
Keywords: reed switch; surface erosion; nitrogen-containing coatings; electric current commutation; scanning electron microscopy; energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis; criterion of erosion stability reed switch; surface erosion; nitrogen-containing coatings; electric current commutation; scanning electron microscopy; energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis; criterion of erosion stability

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zeltser, I.A.; Karpov, A.S.; Moos, E.N.; Rybin, N.B.; Tolstoguzov, A.B. Surface Erosion of Low-Current Reed Switches. Coatings 2017, 7, 75.

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