Simple Penning Ion Source for Laboratory Research and Development Applications

Joshua L. Rovey, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Brandon P. Ruzic
Thomas J. Houlahan

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A simple Penning ion generator (PIG) that can be easily fabricated with simple machining skills and standard laboratory accessories is described. The PIG source uses an iron cathode body, samarium cobalt permanent magnet, stainless steel anode, and iron cathode faceplate to generate a plasma discharge that yields a continuous 1 mA beam of positively charged hydrogen ions at 1 mTorr of pressure. This operating condition requires 5.4 kV and 32.4 W of power. Operation with helium is similar to hydrogen. The ion source is being designed and investigated for use in a sealed-tube neutron generator; however, this ion source is thoroughly described so that it can be easily implemented by other researchers for other laboratory research and development applications.