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Title: Fundamental Surface Science of PFCs for Improved Plasma Performance in NSTX-U

Abstract

This research applies to improving the plasma performance in the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U). NSTX-U will extend the high performance plasmas produced and controlled in NSTX by doubling the heating power and extending the pulse duration by a factor of five. Both of these will substantially raise the thermal stress on plasma facing components (PFCs). Liquid metal-based PFCs, in particular lithium, have been used to improve the plasma performance of many tokamaks, but the predictive understanding needed for confident application of liquid metals and coatings in NSTX-U and future machines is in its infancy. Our work is aimed at applying surface analysis techniques to relevant materials and coatings in a controlled laboratory environment to understand the fundamental surface science and measure key properties that will guide the operations and optimize plasma facing materials at the higher temperatures expected in NSTX-U. Current plans for NSTX-U are to begin operations with carbon PFCs and gradually transition to refractory metal PFCs and liquid metal PFCs toward the end of the first 5 years. Accordingly, our research emphasizes the surface science of lithium on PFC substrates comprised of carbon, molybdenum, and stainless steel. Conditioning of these substrates with boron and the influence ofmore » impurities, such as water vapor, present in the tokamak environment will be investigated. These studies make quantitative measurements with low energy ion scattering (LEIS) and high-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (HR-XPS) to characterize lithium and complex mixed-material deposits on metal single crystals, e.g. molybdenum, and practical alloys. We utilize ultrathin films of these deposits to be able to follow the surface chemistry and determine stoichiometry. The temperature dependence of surface properties and reactivity is a key parameter. Temperature programmed desorption (TPD) mass spectrometry is utilized to measure deuterium uptake and retention by these materials, and vibrational spectroscopy provides crucial information needed on surface species and chemical compounds. Additional measurements probe diffusion of oxygen into bulk lithium and explore lithium diffusion and wetting on molybdenum and stainless steel. The outcomes of these studies contributes to an improved understanding of plasma surface interactions and specific information needed for NSTX-U operations and the future development of lithium-conditioned plasma-facing components in high-heat flux long-pulse scenarios.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Princeton Univ., NJ (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Princeton Univ., NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES)
OSTI Identifier:
1571879
Report Number(s):
DOE-PU-0012890-1
TRN: US2000167
DOE Contract Number:  
SC0012890
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; NSTX-U; Deuterium retention; Lithium; Sputtering; Thin films; Plasma materials interactions; Surface science; Plasma facing components

Citation Formats

Koel, Bruce E. Fundamental Surface Science of PFCs for Improved Plasma Performance in NSTX-U. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.2172/1571879.
Koel, Bruce E. Fundamental Surface Science of PFCs for Improved Plasma Performance in NSTX-U. United States. doi:10.2172/1571879.
Koel, Bruce E. Sun . "Fundamental Surface Science of PFCs for Improved Plasma Performance in NSTX-U". United States. doi:10.2172/1571879. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1571879.
@article{osti_1571879,
title = {Fundamental Surface Science of PFCs for Improved Plasma Performance in NSTX-U},
author = {Koel, Bruce E.},
abstractNote = {This research applies to improving the plasma performance in the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U). NSTX-U will extend the high performance plasmas produced and controlled in NSTX by doubling the heating power and extending the pulse duration by a factor of five. Both of these will substantially raise the thermal stress on plasma facing components (PFCs). Liquid metal-based PFCs, in particular lithium, have been used to improve the plasma performance of many tokamaks, but the predictive understanding needed for confident application of liquid metals and coatings in NSTX-U and future machines is in its infancy. Our work is aimed at applying surface analysis techniques to relevant materials and coatings in a controlled laboratory environment to understand the fundamental surface science and measure key properties that will guide the operations and optimize plasma facing materials at the higher temperatures expected in NSTX-U. Current plans for NSTX-U are to begin operations with carbon PFCs and gradually transition to refractory metal PFCs and liquid metal PFCs toward the end of the first 5 years. Accordingly, our research emphasizes the surface science of lithium on PFC substrates comprised of carbon, molybdenum, and stainless steel. Conditioning of these substrates with boron and the influence of impurities, such as water vapor, present in the tokamak environment will be investigated. These studies make quantitative measurements with low energy ion scattering (LEIS) and high-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (HR-XPS) to characterize lithium and complex mixed-material deposits on metal single crystals, e.g. molybdenum, and practical alloys. We utilize ultrathin films of these deposits to be able to follow the surface chemistry and determine stoichiometry. The temperature dependence of surface properties and reactivity is a key parameter. Temperature programmed desorption (TPD) mass spectrometry is utilized to measure deuterium uptake and retention by these materials, and vibrational spectroscopy provides crucial information needed on surface species and chemical compounds. Additional measurements probe diffusion of oxygen into bulk lithium and explore lithium diffusion and wetting on molybdenum and stainless steel. The outcomes of these studies contributes to an improved understanding of plasma surface interactions and specific information needed for NSTX-U operations and the future development of lithium-conditioned plasma-facing components in high-heat flux long-pulse scenarios.},
doi = {10.2172/1571879},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {10}
}