In a structure or device having a pair of electrical conductors separated by an insulator across which a voltage is placed, resistive layers are formed around the conductors to force the electric potential within the insulator to distribute more uniformly so as to decrease or eliminate electric field enhancement at the conductor edges. This is done by utilizing the properties of resistive layers to allow the voltage on the electrode to diffuse outwards, reducing the field stress at the conductor edge. Preferably, the resistive layer has a tapered resistivity, with a lower resistivity adjacent to the conductor and a higher resistivity away from the conductor. Generally, a resistive path across the insulator is provided, preferably by providing a resistive region in the bulk of the insulator, with the resistive layer extending over the resistive region.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.