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Article

Mechanism of Spontaneous Surface Modifications on Polycrystalline Cu Due to Electric Fields

1
Institute of Technology, University of Tartu, Nooruse 1, 50411 Tartu, Estonia
2
Helsinki Institute of Physics and Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 43 (Pehr Kalms gata 2), FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hae-Jin Kim
Micromachines 2021, 12(10), 1178; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi12101178
Received: 18 August 2021 / Revised: 10 September 2021 / Accepted: 14 September 2021 / Published: 29 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vacuum Nanoelectronics: Components and Devices)
We present a credible mechanism of spontaneous field emitter formation in high electric field applications, such as Compact Linear Collider in CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research). Discovery of such phenomena opens new pathway to tame the highly destructive and performance limiting vacuum breakdown phenomena. Vacuum breakdowns in particle accelerators and other devices operating at high electric fields is a common problem in the operation of these devices. It has been proposed that the onset of vacuum breakdowns is associated with appearance of surface protrusions while the device is in operation under high electric field. Moreover, the breakdown tolerance of an electrode material was correlated with the type of lattice structure of the material. Although biased diffusion under field has been shown to cause growth of significantly field-enhancing tips starting from initial nm-size protrusions, the mechanisms and the dynamics of the growth of the latter have not been studied yet. In the current paper we conduct molecular dynamics simulations of nanocrystalline copper surfaces and show the possibility of protrusion growth under the stress exerted on the surface by an applied electrostatic field. We show the importance of grain boundaries on the protrusion formation and establish a linear relationship between the necessary electrostatic stress for protrusion formation and the temperature of the system. Finally, we show that the time for protrusion formation decreases with the applied electrostatic stress, we give the Arrhenius extrapolation to the case of lower fields, and we present a general discussion of the protrusion formation mechanisms in the case of polycrystalline copper surfaces. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanocrystalline metals; surface diffusion; vacuum breakdowns; molecular dynamics nanocrystalline metals; surface diffusion; vacuum breakdowns; molecular dynamics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kuppart, K.; Vigonski, S.; Aabloo, A.; Wang, Y.; Djurabekova, F.; Kyritsakis, A.; Zadin, V. Mechanism of Spontaneous Surface Modifications on Polycrystalline Cu Due to Electric Fields. Micromachines 2021, 12, 1178. https://doi.org/10.3390/mi12101178

AMA Style

Kuppart K, Vigonski S, Aabloo A, Wang Y, Djurabekova F, Kyritsakis A, Zadin V. Mechanism of Spontaneous Surface Modifications on Polycrystalline Cu Due to Electric Fields. Micromachines. 2021; 12(10):1178. https://doi.org/10.3390/mi12101178

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kuppart, Kristian, Simon Vigonski, Alvo Aabloo, Ye Wang, Flyura Djurabekova, Andreas Kyritsakis, and Veronika Zadin. 2021. "Mechanism of Spontaneous Surface Modifications on Polycrystalline Cu Due to Electric Fields" Micromachines 12, no. 10: 1178. https://doi.org/10.3390/mi12101178

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