The flashover characteristics of an insulator bridged high voltage vacuum gap can play an important role in the overall performance of a high voltage device, for example in the extreme environments of high energy particle accelerators. The detailed preparation of the insulators is, at present, governed by the commercial production methods and by standard bulk cleaning processes, which for a particular application may be far from optimum. The influence of particular cleaning technique have been investigated for commercially available alumina samples, with measurement of surface characteristics by scanning electron microscopy and laser diffraction and analysis of the high voltage performance with the possibility of applied fields up to 200 kV/cm. The results of the different measurements are discussed in the overall context of the problems encountered in the full sized high voltage devices, and suggestions are made as to how the performance of alumina insulators could be improved by modification of the production and preparation specification

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Publisher New York: IEEE
Goddard, B, Hopman, H. J, & Tan, J. N. (1998). The influence of preparation methodology on high voltage behaviour of alumina insulators in vacuum. In Discharges and Electrical Insulation in Vacuum : Proceedings of the XVIIIth International Symposium, 17.-21. Aug. 1998, Eindhoven, vol. 2 (pp. 735–738). New York: IEEE.