For magnetic fusion energy to fuel future power plants, scientists must find ways to control the interactions that take place between the volatile edge of the plasma and the walls that surround it in fusion facilities. Such interactions can profoundly affect conditions at the superhot core of the plasma in ways that include kicking up impurities that cool down the core and halt fusion reactions.
Researchers have improved plasma performance by applying lithium coatings to the walls of fusion facilities. But a complete understanding of the mechanism behind this improvement remains elusive.
Among the puzzles is how temperature affects the ability of lithium to absorb and retain the deuterium particles that stray from the fuel that creates fusion reactions.
Answers are now emerging from a new surface-science laboratory at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory that can probe lithium coatings that are just three atoms thick. Such probes have examined the surface composition of lithium films on a molybdenum substrate after the films were exposed to deuterium ions.
Researchers controlled the surface temperatures, impurity levels and other conditions independently of one another, which could not be done in the complex environment of fusion devices like tokamaks.
The experiments showed that the ability of ultrathin lithium films to retain deuterium drops as the temperature of the molybdenum substrate rises — a result that provides insight into how lithium affects the performance of tokamaks.
Experiments further showed that exposing the lithium to oxygen improved deuterium retention at temperatures below about 400 degrees Kelvin. But without exposure to oxygen, the researchers found, lithium films could retain deuterium at higher temperatures as a result of lithium-deuterium bonding.
Armed with these findings, scientists will be better able to determine how to use lithium to enhance the performance of fusion plasmas.
Angela Capece, firstname.lastname@example.org
YI2.00005: The Effects of Temperature and Oxidation on Deuterium Retention in Solid and Liquid Lithium Films on Molybdenum Plasma-Facing Components
11:30 AM–12:00 PM, Friday, October 31, 2014
Session YI2: Technology of Plasma Facing Surfaces, Landau-Spitzer Award and Post Deadline Talk
9:30 AM–12:30 PM, Friday, October 31, 2014
Saralyn Stewart | EurekAlert!
UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form
13.12.2018 | University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Unprecedented Views of the Birth of Planets
13.12.2018 | Universität Heidelberg
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences
13.12.2018 | Life Sciences