Publications by Simon Hooker


A compact, low cost Marx bank for generating capillary discharge plasmas.

The Review of scientific instruments 87 (2016) 093302-

AE Dyson, C Thornton, SM Hooker

We describe in detail a low power Compact Marx Bank (CMB) circuit that can provide 20 kV, 500 A pulses of approximately 100-200 ns duration. One application is the generation of capillary discharge plasmas of density ≈10(18) cm(-3) used in laser plasma accelerators. The CMB is triggered with a high speed solid state switch and gives a high voltage output pulse with a ns scale rise time into a 50 Ω load (coaxial cable) with <4 ns voltage jitter. Its small size (10 cm  ×  25 cm  ×  5 cm) means that it can be placed right next to the capillary discharge in the target chamber to avoid the need to impedance match. The electrical energy required per discharge is <1 J, and the CMB can be run at shot repetition rates of ≳1 Hz. This low power requirement means that the circuit can easily be powered by a small lead acid battery and, therefore, can be floated relative to laboratory earth. The CMB is readily scalable and pulses >45 kV are demonstrated in air discharges.


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