Theory of space charge limited regime of thermionic energy converter with negative electron affinity emitter

Joshua Ryan Smith, Griff L. Bilbro, Robert Nemanich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A theory of the space charge limited output current regime of a vacuum thermionic energy conversion device (TEC) employing a negative electron affinity (NEA) diamond emitter electrode is derived. The theory is developed by assuming that the electrons behave as a collisionless gas and self-consistently solving Vlaslov's equation and Poisson's equation. Special cases of the theory are addressed. Calculations are performed to model a TEC with a nitrogen doped diamond emitter material under various conditions. It is shown that the NEA material outperforms a similar positive electron affinity material in terms of output power and efficiency because the NEA lowers the electrostatic boundary condition at the emitter and therefore mitigates the negative space charge effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1132-1141
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology B:Nanotechnology and Microelectronics
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Fingerprint

direct power generators
negative electron affinity
Electron affinity
thermionics
Electric space charge
space charge
emitters
energy conversion
Diamond
diamonds
Energy conversion
Diamonds
output
Poisson equation
electron affinity
Positrons
electrostatics
boundary conditions
nitrogen
Electrostatics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

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abstract = "A theory of the space charge limited output current regime of a vacuum thermionic energy conversion device (TEC) employing a negative electron affinity (NEA) diamond emitter electrode is derived. The theory is developed by assuming that the electrons behave as a collisionless gas and self-consistently solving Vlaslov's equation and Poisson's equation. Special cases of the theory are addressed. Calculations are performed to model a TEC with a nitrogen doped diamond emitter material under various conditions. It is shown that the NEA material outperforms a similar positive electron affinity material in terms of output power and efficiency because the NEA lowers the electrostatic boundary condition at the emitter and therefore mitigates the negative space charge effect.",
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AU - Bilbro, Griff L.

AU - Nemanich, Robert

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AB - A theory of the space charge limited output current regime of a vacuum thermionic energy conversion device (TEC) employing a negative electron affinity (NEA) diamond emitter electrode is derived. The theory is developed by assuming that the electrons behave as a collisionless gas and self-consistently solving Vlaslov's equation and Poisson's equation. Special cases of the theory are addressed. Calculations are performed to model a TEC with a nitrogen doped diamond emitter material under various conditions. It is shown that the NEA material outperforms a similar positive electron affinity material in terms of output power and efficiency because the NEA lowers the electrostatic boundary condition at the emitter and therefore mitigates the negative space charge effect.

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