skip to main content


Title: Sorption of atmospheric gases by bulk lithium metal

Lithium conditioning of plasma facing components has enhanced the performance of several fusion devices. Elemental lithium will react with air during maintenance activities and with residual gases (H 2O, CO, CO 2) in the vacuum vessel during operations. We have used a mass balance (microgram sensitivity) to measure the mass gain of lithium samples during exposure of a ~1 cm 2 surface to ambient and dry synthetic air. For ambient air, we found an initial mass gain of several mg/h declining to less than 1 mg/h after an hour and decreasing by an order of magnitude after 24 h. A 9 mg sample achieved a final mass gain corresponding to complete conversion to Li 2CO 3 after 5 days. Exposure to dry air resulted in a 30 times lower initial rate of mass gain. The results have implications for the chemical state of lithium plasma facing surfaces and for safe handling of lithium coated components.
 [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [2] ; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States). Dept. of Physics
  2. Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
  3. Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ (United States). Dept. of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3115; PII: S0022311515303147
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-09CH11466; SC0008598; DE AC02-09CH11466; SCOOO859B
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Nuclear Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 468; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3115
Research Org:
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States); Princeton Univ., NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; lithium; materials; surface physics
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1392272; OSTI ID: 1396691