The Emitter Tri-Layer: a Key Component of the Conductively Coupled Multi-Cell Thermionic Fuel Element 1999-01-2606
The Conductively Coupled Multi-Cell Thermionic Fuel Element combines the best aspects of the single cell and multi-cell TFE designs. The key element in this TFE design is the emitter tri-layer. The emitter tri-layer places strict requirements on material properties especially the insulator material. Emitter tri-layers composites consisting of scandium oxide and tungsten were fabricated and tested. Scandium oxide has met the requirements of thermal stability, mechanical strength and electrical resistance lifetime tests. Initial results on cesium plasma compatibility test indicate that scandium oxide will meet the chemical compatibility requirement.