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Deposition of Pure Lead Photo-Cathodes by Means of UHV Cathodic Arc. P. Strzyżewski 1) , J. Langner 1) , M.J. Sadowski 1) , J. Witkowski 1) , J. Sekutowicz 2) , T. Rao 3) , J. Smedley 3) , P. Kneisel 4) , L. Cultrera 5) , G. Gatti 5) and F. Tazzioli 5)

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Deposition of pure lead photo cathodes by means of uhv cathodic arc l.jpg

Deposition of Pure Lead Photo-Cathodes by Means of UHV Cathodic Arc

P. Strzyżewski1), J. Langner1), M.J. Sadowski1), J. Witkowski1), J. Sekutowicz2),

T. Rao3), J. Smedley3), P. Kneisel4), L. Cultrera5), G. Gatti5) and F. Tazzioli5)

1) Soltan Institute for Nuclear Studies (IPJ), 05-400 Otwock-Swierk, Poland

e-mail: p.strzyzewski(at)

2)DESY-MHF, 22-603 Hamburg, Germany

3) BNL, Upton, New York, USA

4) TJNAF, Newport News, VA 23606, USA

5) INFN/LNF, Frascati (Rome),Italy


Legnaro, Italy, October 9-12, 2006

Cathode options for srf injector l.jpg
Cathode Options for Cathodic ArcSRF Injector

  • Use the niobium wall as a cathode;

    Simple, but low Nb QE limits current

    -J. Smedley, et al., J. Applied Physics 98, 043111 2005

  • Coat Nb in cathode region with another superconductor, with better QE;

    Lead (Pb) was chosen as a first candidate

    - J. Sekutowicz et al., TTF Meeting, Frascati, June 2003, Phys. Rev. ST-

    AB, vol. 8, January 2005)

    - J. Sekutowicz et al., TESLA-FEL Report 2005-09, DESY, Hamburg,

    December 2005.

    - J. Smedley et al., Proceedings of 2005 Particle Accelerator Conference,

    Knoxville, Tennessee; WPAPO38

    - J. Sekutowicz et al., Proceedings of 2006 European Particle Accelerator

    Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland; THPLS092

    - P. Strzyzewski et al., Proceedings of 2006 European Particle Accelerator

    Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland; THPCH176

Nb pb rf gun motivations l.jpg
Nb-Pb RF-Gun: Motivations Cathodic Arc

  • Building a CW operating RF-source of ~0.5-1mA class for an XFEL facility.

  • Operation in CW mode with high accelerator gradient on photo—cathodes.

  • Lower power dissipation and excellent thermal stability.

Test cavities; (left) DESY option with closed endplate, (right) JLab option with hole in the endplate and plug (marked in red).

A prealiminary design of 1.6 cell Nb-Pb RF Gun (DESY)

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Comparison of Cathodic Arc Pb & Nb


Type II Superconductor

Many Accelerator Applications

Critical Temperature: 9.2K

Critical Magnetic Field:* 160mT

Photoelectric Work Function: 4.3eV

Expansion Coefficient: 3·10-5 1/K


Type I Superconductor

Used in Ion Accelerators

Critical Temperature: 7.2K

Critical Magnetic Field:*70mT

Photoelectric Work Function: 3.95eV

Expansion Coefficient: 7·10-61/K

* Values for 2K, 1.3 GHz

(from Basic Principles of RF Superconductivity and Superconducting Cavities, Peter Schmüser)

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Quantum Efficiency of different Cathodic Arc lead films

  • QE of five analyzed Pb samples measured at 300K using setup at BNL

  • Arc deposited Pb cathode was chosen for further investigations.

  • Poor QE of bulk Pb???

Slide6 l.jpg

Surface uniformity Cathodic Arc

(Courtesy of BNL)







All cathodes laser cleaned with 0.2 mJ/mm2 of 248nm light

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Cathodic Vacuum Arc in UHV Cathodic Arc

Physical properties:

- full ionisation of the plasma,

- absence of a working gas sustaining thedischarge,

- presence of multiple-charged ions,

- high kinetic energy of ions (10-150eV),

- deposition process can be fully controlled by means of magnetic and

electric fields.

  • Film properties:

  • - very high density and smoothness (if filtered),

  • - high quality – strongly reduced film defects (i.e. voids),

  • possibility of making pure metal films and compounds

  • possibility of the deposition upon components of sophisticated shapes.

Ultra-high vacuum conditions

- Pressure below 10-10 Torr makes possible the practical elimination of

impurities, like water vapors, nitrogen and CxHY

Slide8 l.jpg

Planar arc facility Cathodic Arc

Scheme of a UHV filtered planar cathode arc facility equipped with an RF Gun to be coated.

Picture of the planar arc facility equipped with the magnetic filter (without external coils) and the RF Gun.

Shielding tube enables the deposition upon the RF Gun endplate,

however its geometry (length and diameter) strongly decreases deposition rate.

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Arc Plasma Transportation Cathodic Arc

Values of the measured ion-current density along the axis of the investigated shielding tube.

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Formation of Pb thin films Cathodic Arc

Arc discharge current: 25A

Voltage: 17-18V

Base pressure: <10-10mbar

Pressure during arc: ~10-7mbar

Substrates: niobium, copper, sapphire

Deposition rate: 0.5nm/s

Bias: -70V

Film temperature: <100oC

Cathode spot diameter: <4mm

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Pb thin films characterization: SEM Cathodic Arc

SEM pictures of Pb films deposited by means of cathodic vacuum arc

(courtesy of BNL)

magn. 250

magn. 3000

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Pb thin films characterization: SIMS Cathodic Arc

Result of a purity profile measurement of Pb layer deposited

on sapphire substrateby means of Time-of-Flight

Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS)

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Pb thin films characterization: Cathodic ArcGD-OES

Glow Discharge – Optical Emission Spectrometry (GD-OES) analysis of the Pb layer profile, which was deposited upon

the Cu-substrate under the same conditions as the sapphire ones

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First result of Q measurement Cathodic Arcof Nb-Pb RF Gun (at DESY)

Q of Nb-PB RF Gun measured at DESY(August 2006, Courtesy of J. Sekutowicz)

Low value of Q is probably caused by a bad welding of Niobium.

Renewed Pb deposition and Q measurement are planned in November 2006

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First result of Q measurement Cathodic Arcof Nb-Pb RF Gun (at JLab)

Q of Nb-PB RF Gun measured at JLab (October 2006, Courtesy of P. Kneisel)

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Conclusions Cathodic Arc

  • Niobium, although it is a good superconductor, is a relatively poor photocathode.

  • For moderate average currents, SC lead plating the cathode may be an alternative to niobium.

  • UHV arc deposited lead film was chosen for further investigations.

  • QE266nm=0.035%, QE213nm=0.27%, QE190nm=0.55%

  • Very high density and purity of arc deposited Pb films were confirmed.

  • Pb films deposition upon the RF Gun end-plate is a challenge.

  • The first results of Qo measurements are quite satisfactory ones.

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Future plans Cathodic Arc

  • Within the collaboration with BNL, QE measurements will be carried out on samples without and with a SRF cavity at cryogenic temperatures, in order to investigate the behavior of the SC lead under laser irradiation.

  • Possible approaches for improving the UHV cathodic arc deposition of Pb photocathodes:

    - a new T-type magnetic filter for better plasma transport


    - a kHz pulse bias and arc discharge current (instead of DC

    ones) for higher film density → higher QE.

  • The deposition of Mg thin films??? (see L. Cultrera et al., Metal Film Photo-Cathodes For High Brightness Electron Injectors, Proc. EPAC2006, Edinburg, UK; MOPCH02.