Effects of surface damage on rf cavity operation

A. Hassanein*, Z. Insepov, J. Norem, A. Moretti, Z. Qian, A. Bross, Y. Torun, R. Rimmer, D. Li, M. Zisman, D. N. Seidman, K. E. Yoon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


We describe a model of damage in rf cavities and show how this damage can limit cavity operation. We first present a review of mechanisms that may or may not affect the ultimate fields that can be obtained in rf cavities, assuming that mechanical stress explains the triggers of rf breakdown events. We present a method of quantifying the surface damage caused by breakdown events in terms of the spectrum of field enhancement factors, β, for asperities on the surface. We then model an equilibrium that can develop between damage and conditioning effects, and show how this equilibrium can determine cavity performance and show experimental evidence for this mechanism. We define three functions that quantify damage, and explain how the parameters that determine performance can be factored out and measured. We then show how this model can quantitatively explain the dependence of cavity performance on material, frequency, pulse length, gas, power supply, and other factors. The examples given in this paper are derived from a variety of incomplete data sets, so we outline an experimental program that should improve these predictions, provide mechanisms for comparing data from different facilities, and fill in many gaps in the existing data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number062001
JournalPhysical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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