A legend about the photoemission discharge
Rzhanov Institute of Semiconductor Physics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, prosp. Lavrent'eva 13, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russian Federation
It is shown that the currently advertised 'new form of discharge' (open discharge) — photoemission with virtually noneroding cathode and the 'anomalously high' (near unity) energy efficiency of electron beam (EB) formation --- cannot in fact be realized. In reality, such a discharge fits well into the familiar pattern of glow discharges controlled by heavy particle emission. Thus, in known EB sources, the energy efficiency of up to ≈0,8 is ensured by fast atoms from ion charge exchange in strong discharge fields. However, charge multiplication and the cathode-directed ion drift are both proportional to the flow of cathode electrons (including photoemitted ones), implying that the energy efficiency cannot increase. It is incorrect efficiency measurement methodology, which gives a result of about unity efficiency.