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While prior theoretical studies of multi-dimensional space-charge limited current (SCLC) assumed emission from a small patch on infinite electrodes, none have considered emission from an entire finite electrode. In this paper, we apply variational calculus (VC) and conformal mapping, which have previously been used to derive analytic solutions for SCLC density (SCLCD) for nonplanar one-dimensional geometries, to obtain mathematical relationships for any multi-dimensional macroscopic diode with finite cathode and anode. We first derive a universal mathematical relationship between space-charge limited potential and vacuum potential for any diode and apply this technique to determine SCLCD for an eccentric spherical diode. We then apply VC and the Schwartz–Christoffel transformation to derive an exact equation for SCLCD in a general two-dimensional planar geometry with emission from a finite emitter. Particle-in-cell simulations using VSim agreed within 4%–13% for a range of ratios of emitter width to gap distance using the thinnest electrodes practical for the memory constraints of our hardware, with the difference partially attributed to the theory's assumption of infinitesimally thin electrodes. After generalizing this approach to determine SCLCD for any orthogonal diode as a function of only the vacuum capacitance and vacuum potential, we derive an analytical formulation of the three-dimensional Child–Langmuir law for finite parallel rectangular and disk geometries. These results demonstrate the utility for calculating SCLCD for any diode geometry using vacuum capacitance and vacuum potential, which are readily obtainable for many diode geometries, to guide experiment and simulation development.

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This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. This article appeared in

Sree Harsha, N.R., Pearlman, M., Browning, J., & Garner, A.L. (2021). A Multi-Dimensional Child-Langmuir Law for Any Diode Geometry. Physics of Plasmas, 28(12), 122103,

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Available for download on Thursday, December 01, 2022