Electron and positive ion acceleration with pyroelectric crystals

Jeffrey A. Geuther, Yaron Danon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The phenomenon of pyroelectric electron emission has been employed to develop miniature x-ray sources, such as the Cool-X by Amptek (www.amptek.com/coolx.html). The source strength of a pyroelectric x-ray generator is dependent on the emitted electron energy and current. Similarly, the source strength of a pyroelectric neutron generator will be dependent on the energy and production rate of deuterium ions in the fill gas. This paper summarizes our results in experiments directed toward creating high-energy electrons and positive ions with a pyroelectric source. Single-crystal sources are shown to produce positive ions with energies of up to 98 keV and electron energies of up to 143 keV. X-ray spectra are presented as proof that a paired-crystal source can increase electron energy to at least 215 keV. In addition, we offer independent verification of the "bunched" electron emission effect observed by [Brownridge, Appl. Phys. Lett. 78, 1158 (2001)].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number074109
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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