High Voltage Short Gap Test Facility – HVSGTF

View of the electrodes of the HVSGTF experiment

High Voltage Short Gap Test Facility (HVSGTF) designed to complement the HVPTF studies. 

The HVSGTF is designed for measuring currents between electrodes separated by a small distance, from 0.1 to 15 mm, in high vacuum by applying continuous voltages up to 100000 Volts.

The goal is to develop the knowledge necessary to perfect the DC voltage holding in the vacuum of the MITICA prototype.

The unique point of HVSGTF is the achievement of nominal electric fields on the metal / vacuum interfaces over 100 kV / mm. These electric fields are sufficient to extract electrons from cathode surfaces at room temperature as predicted by the Fowler-Nordheim models.


  • E. Spada, A. De Lorenzi, N. Pilan, V. Antoni (2019) Theoretical basis and experimental validation of the breakdown induced by rupture of dielectric layer model. IEEE Trans. Plasma Sci. 47 2759–64 10.1109/TPS.2019.2909132