The electrical strength of vacuum insulators is a key constraint in the design of particle accelerators and pulsed power systems. Vacuum insulating structures assembled from alternating layers of metal and dielectric can result in improved performance compared to conventional insulators, but previous attempts to optimize their design have yielded seemingly inconsistent results. Here, we present two models for the electrical strength of these structures, one assuming failure by vacuum arcing between adjacent metal layers and the other assuming failure by vacuum surface flashover. These models predict scaling laws which are in agreement with the experimental data currently available.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)