A retarding field energy analyzer (RFEA) designed specifically for high energy pulsed electron beam measurements is described in this work. By proper design of the entrance grid, attenuation grid, and beam collector, this RFEA is capable of determining the time-resolved energy distribution of high energy pulsed electron beams normally generated under “soft vacuum” environment. The performance of the RFEA is validated by multiple tests of the leakage current, attenuation coefficient, and response time. The test results show that the retarding potential in the RFEA can go up to the same voltage as the electron beam source, which is 20 kV for the maximum in this work. Additionally, an attenuation coefficient of 4.2 is obtained in the RFEA while the percent difference of the rise time of the electron beam pulse before and after attenuation is lower than 10%. When compared with a reference source, the percent difference of the RFEA response time is less than 10% for fall times greater than 35 ns. Finally, the test results of the 10 kV pseudospark-based pulsed electron beam currents collected under varying retarding potentials are presented in this paper.
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