Special Issue "Hollow Cathode Deposition"
A special issue of Coatings (ISSN 2079-6412).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2020).
Interests: Low temperature plasmas; space electric propulsion including gridded ion engines and pulsed plasma thrusters; micropropulsion for cube/nano sats; formation flying of cube/nano sats; hollow cathodes; space environments and interactions with spacecraft including radiation environments; in particular solar energetic particle events
Hollow cathodes are a source of high density plasma which can be used for several different applications, including lasers, electron emitters, calibration lamps and materials processing. The term hollow cathode in itself refers to the geometry of the cathode which can consist of a pair of closely spaced planar electrodes or a tube. The hollow cathode effect was first discovered around a century ago and refers to the change in the voltage and current characteristics of a glow or arc discharge when a hollow cathode is used rather than a planar cathode. Generally speaking the voltages and current densities are lower and higher, respectively than with a planar cathode.
These cathodes can be used with many types of gas, gas flow or static gas and over a wide range of pressures from fractions of a torr to atmospheric pressures. In addition, the dimensions of the geometry can range from cms down to fractions of a mm in, what are known as, micro hollow cathodes.
Despite having been investigated for many decades, there are still gaps in our knowledge of some of the fundamental mechanisms at play. This Issue will focus on some of these gaps with emphasis on the application to deposition. Topics of significance will include surface interactions inside the cathode, transport of sputtered wall material out of the cathode interior, current attachment and plasma instabilities in the interelectrode plasma. Contributions are invited on the following:
- Deposition of thin films of metallic and dielectric materials using both internal and external hollow cathode plasmas;
- Measurement of hollow cathode plasma plume parameters;
- Optical and other diagnostics of both internal and external hollow cathode plasmas;
- Novel hollow cathode configurations including micro hollow cathode arrays manufactured using MEMS techniques;
- Numerical and analytic modelling of hollow cathodes;
- Surface interactions in the interior of the cathode.
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