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LPD Lab Services Ltd is in the unique position of being able to offer an un-rivalled independent centre for design, consultancy and support for applications that employ electron emission as a key part of their function. The company's expertise involves both oxide cathode and dispenser cathode (i-cathode) technologies.Oxide Cathode with Integral Heater

Traditionally the biggest user of thermionic cathode technology has been cathode ray tubes (CRT) used in televisions and computer monitor displays. While CRT’s have bee replaced with flat screen technologies (LCD), there still remain areas where thermionic cathodes technology is still vital and has no real alternatives. Examples include:

  • Klystrons, Travelling Wave Tubes (TWT), Magnetrons for use in broadcast, radar, communications applications.
  • Microwave sources.
  • X-ray sources.
  • Specialised cathode ray tube applications e.g. avionics head up displays.
  • Space applications.
  • Valves used in high end audio amplifiers and guitar amplifiers.

LPD Lab Services Ltd was formed after a management buy-out in early October 2009. Previously it had been part of the thermionic cathode production centre within Philips Display Components in Blackburn and then the CRT joint venture formed between Philips and LG, LP Displays.

The Blackburn site was the world’s largest producer of thermionic cathodes used in CRT for TV and monitors as well as niche applications. LPD Lab staff were instrumental in the design and development of the cathodes manufactured in Blackburn. This includes the Cermet cathode, that bridged the performance gap between the standard Oxide cathode the impregnated cathode used in Philips’ tubes as the electron emission system. 

The vast knowledge on the materials, production processes, design and application of the thermionic cathodes is still retained within the staff of LPD Lab Services. This combined with a wide array of chemical and material analysis facilities means that we can offer consultancy and support on a wide range of cathode related topics. These include:

  • Cathode materials
  • Cathode and heater design
  • Cathode thermal designs
  • Electron gun and electron optics
  • Test and Measurements
  • Reliability testing
  • Failure analysis of emission systems, guns, sources and tubes
  • Product and process reverse engineering
  • Competitor analysis
  • Cathode processing and application

If you would like to discuss in more detail how LPD Lab Services can support you with your cathode issues please contact Dr Wyndham Johnstone.

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