Disclosed is a method to potentially increase the performance of devices which employ electric field within a vacuum by increasing the magnitude of the electric field gradient which can be sustained, the reliability of the devices, and by reducing the conditioning time of devices such as charged particle accelerators when they are brought into operation. The disclosed method can be employed, for example, for devices requiring voltages across vacuum gaps, such as, but not limited to, charged particle accelerators, X-ray machines, vacuum tubes, and vacuum electrical breakers.
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