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Long-Lifetime, Nanosecond Gas-Discharge Light Source Utilizing Automobile Spark Plugs as Lamp Electrodes

Volume 53, Number 1 (Jan. 1999) Page 108-114

Komatsu, Toshiyuki; Araki, Tsutomu; Scheeline, Alexander


We describe the construction and emission characteristics of a gas-changeable and gap-adjustable pulsed light source that produces high-repetition-rate pulsed UV light of nanosecond duration. Automobile spark plugs have been used as the electrodes to extend electrode lifetime and to facilitate maintenance. Stable light pulses of 0.8 ns to 4 ns width are generated when using air, nitrogen, or argon as the discharge gas. Appreciable heterogeneity in the distribution of emission intensity and its onset timing along the discharge gap was observed. The lifetime of the electrode up to 10 10 discharge firings has been confirmed for nitrogen fill gas.