Determining threshold arcing characteristics of exploding film phenomenon
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Exploding films have been shown to exhibit behaviors very much like that of exploding wires. In our experiments, the exploding film phenomenon consists of a high voltage capacitive discharge through a thin aluminum layer on a dielectric substrate. When the proper conditions exist, a very high current arc discharge, or restrike, can occur. This plasma has potential applications in pulsed light sources as well as ignition of energetic materials. A series of experiments, as well as a detailed analysis, were performed in an attempt to characterize the conditions necessary for the arc discharge to occur in exploding films. By using several films with different sheet resistances, it was found that there is a correlation between the current density of the initial current strike and the electric field that dictates whether the restrike occurs or not. By exploiting this relationship, it is possible to predict whether a given exploding film will indeed exhibit a restrike or not. These prediction capabilities will allow greater operations efficiencies in the development of applications of the exploding film phenomenon. This also has potential implications for switching, fusing, and flashover theory.