Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 415–428 | Cite as

Physico-Chemical Processes Induced by Electrical Breakdown and Discharge Responsible for Memory Effect in Krypton with < 10 ppm Nitrogen

  • Milić M. Pejović
  • Momčilo M. Pejović
  • Koviljka Stanković
Original Paper


In order to analyze the processes induced by electrical breakdown and discharge responsible for memory effect in krypton-filled tube at low pressure, experimental data mean value of electrical breakdown time delay \(\bar{t}_{d}\) as a function of afterglow period τ (memory curve) was used. Analysis showed that in the 1 μs < τ < 7 ms interval positive ions formed in the previous discharge and in afterglow have a dominant role in secondary emission of electrons from the cathode which lead to initiation of breakdown. In the 7 ms < τ < 30 s interval N(4S) atoms have a dominant role in secondary electron emission. These atoms are formed during breakdown and discharge by dissociation of nitrogen molecules that are presented as impurities in krypton. For τ > 30 s the concentration of N(4S) atoms decreases significantly so that the dominant role in initiation of breakdown is taken over by cosmic rays and natural radioactivity. The increase in discharge current leads to the decrease in \(\bar{t}_{d}\) in the 1 μs < τ < 7 ms interval due to the increase in positive ion concentration. The increase in applied voltage decreases the values of \(\bar{t}_{d}\) for τ > 7 ms due to the increase in probability for breakdown. It has also been show that exposure of krypton-filled tube to low dose of gamma ray irradiation as well as UV irradiation with wavelength higher than 300 nm leads to the decrease in \(\bar{t}_{d}\). This decrease occurs for τ > 7 ms, when N(4S) atoms play a dominant role in breakdown initiation.


Electrical breakdown time delay Breakdown voltage Afterglow period Secondary electron emission Krypton Nitrogen 



The work presented in this paper was supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia under the Contract No. 171007.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milić M. Pejović
    • 1
  • Momčilo M. Pejović
    • 1
  • Koviljka Stanković
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Electronic EngineeringUniversity of NišNisSerbia
  2. 2.Faculty of Electronic EngineeringUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

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