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saturation current[‚sach·ə′rā·shən ¦kə·rənt]
In general, the maximum current which can be obtained under certain conditions.
In a vacuum tube, the space-charge-limited current, such that further increase in filament temperature produces no specific increase in anode current.
In a vacuum tube, the temperature-limited current, such that a further increase in anode-cathode potential difference produces only a relatively small increase in current.
In a gaseous-discharge device, the maximum current which can be obtained for a given mode of discharge.
In a semiconductor, the maximum current which just precedes a change in conduction mode.
The ionization current in a gas tube when the applied potential is large enough to collect all ions produced by ionizing radiation.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.