AIP Digital Archive
Experiments are described in which a high-purity, high-power (0.15 TW, 1 MeV) proton beam is generated from an ion source consisting of H2 gas frozen onto a liquid-helium-cooled copper anode at 4.2 K in a series-field-coil extraction diode on the 0.7 TW HydraMITE-II accelerator. Peak anode proton current densities of 2 kA/cm2 were measured. This current density is a factor of 100 higher than those obtained in previous liquid-helium-cooled cryogenic diode experiments on small accelerators and is in the range required for high-power ion beam applications. Thomson parabola, Faraday cup, and carbon activation measurements indicate an ion beam proton fraction close to 100% for the cryogenic source, compared to 50–70% for the standard hydrocarbon anode tested. The cryogenic proton source is believed to consist of no more than a few monolayers of molecular hydrogen. The hydrogen-coated cryogenic anode shows a faster initial anode turn-on than other materials. However, source-limited emission from the thin hydrogen layer results in a somewhat longer current risetime, reduced ion diode efficiency, lower proton current enhancement over the Child–Langmuir limit, and a proton spectrum of lower average energy than for the hydrocarbon anode. Techniques to overcome these limitations are discussed. Cryogenic ion sources consisting of frozen N2, CH4, and Ne have also been studied. In each case, high intensity beams consisting predominantly of components of the refrigerated gas were produced.
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