Asian Journal of Physics Vol 32, Nos 9 – 12 (2023) 503-508

Development and switching characterization of high power pseudospark switch for fast pulsed power applications

Akhilesh Mishra1,2, Shikha Misra1, Varun1,2, Bharat Lal Meena1, Alok Mishra1,
Abhijit Ravindra Tillu3, Ram Prakash Lamba1,2, and Udit Narayan Pal1,2
1CSIR- Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute, Pilani-333 031, India
2Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), Ghaziabad-201 002, India
3Accelerator and Pulse Power Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai-400 085, India
Dedicated to Prof B N Basu

In this paper, the development and switching characterization of a multi-gap, multi-aperture, pseudospark switch (MGMA-PSS) with and without the saturable inductor (SI) have been presented for fast pulse power applications. Simulation was also performed to understand the discharge growth inside the hollow cavity for the single-gap geometry. The SI not only improved the commutation loss but also proved to be beneficial for sustained operation over a longer life of the switch. The impact of the number of inductor cores was studied and experimental analysis was performed with the different numbers of inductor cores at different anode voltages and background hydrogen gas pressures. The experimental results have clearly indicated the reduction in commutation losses up to ~55%, ~80%, and ~95% with a single toroid core, three toroid cores, and five toroid cores, respectively. © Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Pseudospark discharge, Commutation losses, Hollow cathode, Hollow anode, High-power switch.

Peer Review Information
Method: Single- anonymous; Screened for Plagiarism? Yes
Buy this Article in Print © Anita Publications. All rights reserve


  1. Frank K, Boggasch E, Christiansen J, Goertler A, Hartmann W, Kozlik C, Kirkman G, Braun C, Dominic V, Gundersen M A, Riege H, Mechtersheimer G, High-Power Pseudospark and BLT Switches, IEEE Trans Plasma Sci, 16(1988)317–323.
  2. Frank K, Scientific and technological progress of pseudospark devices, IEEE Trans Plasma Sci, 27(1999)1008–1020.
  3. Martin G, Schaefer G, Physics and Applications of Pseudosparks, (1st edn, Springer, New York), 1990.
  4. Frank K, Christiansen J, The fundamentals of the pseudospark and its applications, IEEE Trans Plasma Sci, 17(1989)748–753.
  5. Bochkov V D, Dyagilev V M, Ushich V G, Frants O B, Korolev Yu D, Sheirlyakin I A, Frank K, Sealed-off pseudospark switches for pulsed power applications (current status and prospects), IEEE Trans Plasma Sci, 29(2001)802–808.
  6. Meena B L, Rai S K, M S Tyagi, Pal U N, Kumar M, Sharma A K, Characterization of high power pseudospark plasma switch (PSS), J Phys Conf Ser, 208(2010)012110; doi: 10.1088/1742-6596/208/1/012110.
  7. Lamba R P, Pal U N, Meena B L, Prakash R, A sealed-off double-gap pseudospark switch and its performance analysis, Plasma Sources Sci Technol, 27(2018)3; doi. 10.1088/1361-6595/aaab80.
  8. Pathania V, Pal D K,  Meena B L, Kumar N, Pal U N, Prakash R, Rahaman H, Switching behavior of a double gap pseudospark discharge, IEEE Trans Dielectr Electr Insul, 22(2015)3299–3304; doi. 10.1109/TDEI.2015.004983.
  9. Lamba R P, Pathania V, Meena B L, Rahaman H, Pal U N, Prakash R, Investigations of a high current linear aperture radial multichannel pseudospark switch, Rev Sci Instrum, 86 (2015)103508;
  10. Pal U N, Lamba R P, Varun, Meena B L, Frank K, A multigap multiaperture pseudospark switch andits performance analysis for high-voltage applications, IEEE Trans Electron Devices, 67(2020)5600–5604.
  11. Mishra A, Misra S, Lamba R P, Tillu A R, Pal U N, Performance of a multigap multiaperture pseudospark switch in series with the saturable inductor, IEEE Trans Electron Devices, 69(2022)5879–5885.
  12. Varun, Sharma N K, Pal U N, Design of Multigap Pseudospark Discharge-Based Plasma Cathode Electron Source at Different Configurations of Electrode Apertures, IEEE Trans on Electron Devices, 68(2021)5799–5806.
  13. Varun, Pal U N, Investigation of Electron Beam Generation in Pseudospark Discharge-Based Plasma Cathode Electron Source, IEEE Trans on Plasma Sci, 46(2018)2003–2008.
  14. Ding W, Shen S, Yan J, Wang Y, Wang B, Discharge Characteristics of a Pseudospark Switch in Series with a Saturable Inductor, IEEE Trans Plasma Sci, 47(2019)4572–4578.
  15. McLyman C W T, Transformer and Inductor Design Handbook. (Idyllwild, California, U.S.A: Marcel Dekker), 2004.
  16. EPCOS, Ferrites and Accessories Important, September, 2013.
  17. COMSOL Multiphysics, The COMSOL Multiphysics Reference Manual, Manual, (2015)1–1336, [Online]. Available:
  18. Misra S, Mishra A, Lamba R P, Meena B L, Mishra A, Pal U N, Role of Electrode Geometry on the Operational Characteristics of Multiaperture Pseudospark Switch, IEEE Trans Electron Devices, 70(2023)1250–1255.
  19. Varun, Cross A W, Ronald K, Pal U N, PIC Simulation of Pseudospark Discharge- Based Plasma Cathode Electron Source for the Generation of High Current Density and Energetic Electron Beam, IEEE Trans Electron Devices, 67(2020)1793–1796.