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Optimization of a Langmuir-Taylor detector for lithium

This article describes the construction and optimization of a Langmuir–Taylor detector for lithium, using a rhenium ribbon. The absolute detection probability of this very sensitive detector is measured and the dependence of this probability with oxygen pressure and surface temperature is studied. Sources of background signal and their minimization are also discussed in detail. A comparison between our data concerning the response time of the detector and literature values is given. A theoretical analysis has been made : this analysis supports the validity of the Saha–Langmuir law to relate the ionization probability to the work function. Finally, the rapid variations of the work function with oxygen pressure and temperature are explained by a chemical equilibrium model.


Voir en ligne : Rev. Scient. Instrum. 73, 2249-58 (2002)