Picture of boy being examining by doctor at a tuberculosis sanatorium

Understanding our future through Open Access research about our past...

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the Centre for the Social History of Health & Healthcare (CSHHH), based within the School of Humanities, and considered Scotland's leading centre for the history of health and medicine.

Research at CSHHH explores the modern world since 1800 in locations as diverse as the UK, Asia, Africa, North America, and Europe. Areas of specialism include contraception and sexuality; family health and medical services; occupational health and medicine; disability; the history of psychiatry; conflict and warfare; and, drugs, pharmaceuticals and intoxicants.

Explore the Open Access research of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare. Or explore all of Strathclyde's Open Access research...

Image: Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. Wellcome Collection - CC-BY.

Breakdown characteristics of plasma closing switches filled with different gases

McGarvey, C. and Timoshkin, I.V. and MacGregor, S.J. and Wilson, M.P. and Given, M.J. and Sinclair, M.A. (2014) Breakdown characteristics of plasma closing switches filled with different gases. In: Proceedings of the XXth International Conference on Gas Discharges and their Applications. UNSPECIFIED, pp. 398-401.

Full text not available in this repository. Request a copy from the Strathclyde author


When operating gas-filled plasma closing switches, the most commonly used dielectric gas is sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) due to its desirable and advanced dielectric properties. In recent years, concerns over the impact of SF6 on the environment and its contributions to the global greenhouse effect [1], as well as the continual rise in the cost of acquiring SF6 [2] has led to a desire within the pulsed power community to find an alternative switching medium to replace SF6, [3]. The main concern over replacing SF6 is that plasma closing switches filled with any replacement gas must have similar performance parameters to the SF6–filled switches, e.g. parameters such as the DC breakdown voltage and the triggered breakdown voltage, jitter and breakdown voltage spread, the recovery of the switch and the energy losses [4]. This paper presents results obtained for DC breakdown tests in a self-breakdown switch with an adjustable inter-electrode gap that has been filled with argon, nitrogen, atmospheric air and an argon/oxygen mixture at different pressures. As a result of the experimental work conducted, the characteristics of the plasma closing switches filled with different gases have been obtained and compared to previous work carried out [5] as well as compared with the characteristics of commonly used SF6–filled switches. Initial development of the model of a plasma closing switch has been developed which will be developed so that the model can be used for characterising the performance of different pulsed power systems and for optimization of current systems in order to improve their performance parameters e.g. decrease jitter and pre-fire rate, generate tailored wave-forms and improve overall stability of operation.