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Proceedings of the 9th Spacecraft Charging Technology Conference


Spacecraft Charging Technology

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Electron emission and concomitant charge accumulation near the surface of insulators is central to understanding spacecraft charging. We present a study of changes in electron emission yields as a result of internal charge build up due to electron dose. Evolution of total, backscattered and secondary yield results over a broad range of incident energies are presented for two representative insulators, KaptonTM and Al2O3. Reliable yield curves for un-charged insulators are measured and quantifiable changes in yields are observed due to fluences. We find excellent agreement with a phenomenological argument based on insulator charging predicted by the yield curve; this includes a decrease in the rate of change of the yield as incident energies approach the crossover energies and as accumulated internal charge reduces the landing energy to asymptotically approach a steady state surface charge and unity yield. We also find that the exponential decay of yield curves with fluence exhibit an energy dependent decay constant, a(E). Finally we discuss physics based models for this energy dependence. To understand fluence and energy dependence of these charging processes requires knowledge of how charge is deposited within the insulator, the mechanisms for charge trapping and transport within the insulator, and how the profile of trapped charge affects the transport and emission of charges from insulators.


Invited Talk, 9th Spacecraft Charging Technology Conference, (Epochal Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan April 4-8, 2005).

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