Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date




Publication Title

Proceedings of the 18th International Workshop on Polarized Sources, Targets, and Polarimetry - PoS(PSTP2019)




040 (1-11)

Conference Name

The 18th International Workshop on Polarized Sources, Targets, and Polarimetry, 23-27 September 2019, Knoxville, Tennessee


GaAs-based DC high voltage photo-guns used at accelerators with extensive user programs must exhibit long photocathode operating lifetime. Achieving this goal represents a significant challenge for proposed high average current facilities that must operate at tens of milliamperes or more. Specifically, the operating lifetime is dominated by ion back-bombardment of the photocathode from ionized residual gas. While numerous experiments have been performed to characterize the operating lifetime under various conditions, detailed simulations of the ion back-bombardment mechanism that explains these experiments are lacking. Recently, a new user routine was implemented using the code General Particle Tracer (GPT) to simulate electron impact ionization of residual beam line gas and simultaneously track the incident electron, the ejected electron, and the newly formed ion. This new routine was benchmarked against analytical calculations and then applied to experiments performed at the CEBAF injector at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility to study the effectiveness of limiting ions from entering the cathode-anode gap using a positively biased anode. These simulations were performed using detailed 3D field maps produced with CST Microwave Studio describing the photo-gun electrostatics. Discussion of the experiment and the application of this new GPT routine to model the experiments will be presented at the workshop.


© 2020 by the authors.

Published under the term of the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Original Publication Citation

Yoskowitz, J., Grames, J., Hansknecht, J., Hernandez Garcia, C., Krafft, G., Poelker, M., Suleiman, R., Palacios-Seranno, G., Wijethunga, S., & Van Der Geer, B. (2020). New simulations for ion-production and back bombardment in GaAs photo guns. The 18th International Workshop on Polarized Sources, Targets, and Polarimetry (PSTP2019), Knoxville, Tennessee.


0000-0003-1792-6603 (Yoskowitz), 0000-0002-0328-5828 (Krafft)