The report presents experimental research results on a pulsed vacuum arc ion source with heated elemental boron cathode. Boron is a semiconductor having a high specific resistance (~1.8 MOhm×cm) under normal conditions and is difficult to sputter and to evaporate. Therefore in the known ion sources, the initiation of an arc discharge with a pure boron cathode requires preliminary heating-up of the cathode to temperatures up to 1000 °C. We have designed a high-temperature cathodic unit which enabled to operate a cathodic arc from pure boron material and used a special technique for the arc triggering and one allowed to decrease the cathode temperature up to 600 °C. The arc discharge was operated at 100 A with pulse duration from 100 µs to 300 µs. Boron ions were produced almost entirely in a singly and doubly ionized state with a ratio close to 1:1.
Work supported by a The Russian Science Foundation (grant number of 16-19-10034)