skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information
  1. Investigation of uranium molecular species using laser ablation

    The goal of this project is to investigate the dynamic evolution of uranium oxide (UOx) molecular species in a rapidly cooling low-temperature plasma using a coupled experimental and modeling approach. Our purpose is to develop quantitative constraints on the UOx phase chemistry under physical conditions similar to that of a nuclear fireball at the time of debris condensation. This work is motivated by a need to better understand the factors controlling uranium chemical fractionation in post-detonation nuclear debris.
  2. Effects of Plume Hydrodynamics and Oxidation on the Composition of a Condensing Laser-Induced Plasma

    High-temperature chemistry in laser ablation plumes leads to vapor-phase speciation, which can induce chemical fractionation during condensation. In this work, using emission spectroscopy acquired after ablation of a SrZrO 3 target, we have experimentally observed the formation of multiple molecular species (ZrO and SrO) as a function of time as the laser ablation plume evolves. Although the stable oxides SrO and ZrO 2 are both refractory, we observed emission from the ZrO intermediate at earlier times than SrO. We deduced the time-scale of oxygen entrainment into the laser ablation plume using an 18O 2 environment by observing the in-growth ofmore » Zr 18O in the emission spectra relative to Zr 16O, which was formed by reaction of Zr with 16O from the target itself. Using temporally resolved plume-imaging, we determined that ZrO formed more readily at early times, volumetrically in the plume, while SrO formed later in time, around the periphery. Lastly, using a simple temperature-dependent reaction model, we have illustrated that the formation sequence of these oxides subsequent to ablation is predictable to first order.« less
    Cited by 1
  3. A model of early formation of uranium molecular oxides in laser-ablated plasmas

    Here, in this work, we present a newly constructed U xO y reaction mechanism that consists of 30 reaction channels (21 of which are reversible channels) for 11 uranium molecular species (including ions). Both the selection of reaction channels and calculation of corresponding rate coefficients is accomplished via a comprehensive literature review and application of basic reaction rate theory. The reaction mechanism is supplemented by a detailed description of oxygen plasma chemistry (19 species and 142 reaction channels) and is used to model an atmospheric laser ablated uranium plume via a 0D (global) model. Finally, the global model is usedmore » to analyze the evolution of key uranium molecular species predicted by the reaction mechanism, and the initial stage of formation of uranium oxide species.« less
  4. Ion energy-angle distribution functions at the plasma-material interface in oblique magnetic fields

    The ion energy-angle distribution (IEAD) at the wall of a magnetized plasma is of fundamental importance for the determination of the material processes occurring at the plasma-material interface, comprising secondary emissions and material sputtering. Here, we present a numerical characterization of the IEAD at the wall of a weakly collisional magnetized plasma with the magnetic field inclined at an arbitrary angle with respect to the wall. The analysis has been done using two different techniques: (1) a fluid-Monte Carlo method, and (2) particle-in-cell simulations, the former offering a fast but approximate method for the determination of the IEADs, the lattermore » giving a computationally intensive but self-consistent treatment of the plasma behavior from the quasi-neutral region to the material boundary. The two models predict similar IEADs, whose similarities and differences are discussed. Data are presented for magnetic fields inclined at angles from normal to grazing incidence (0°–85°). We show the scaling factors of the average and peak ion energy and trends of the pitch angle at the wall as a function of the magnetic angle, for use in the correlation of fluid plasma models to material models.« less
  5. Formation of 238U 16O and 238U 18O observed by time-resolved emission spectroscopy subsequent to laser ablation

    Here, we have measured vibronic emission spectra of an oxide of uranium formed after laser ablation of the metal in gaseous oxygen. Specifically, we have measured the time-dependent relative intensity of a band located at approximately 593.6 nm in 16O 2. This band grew in intensity relative to neighboring atomic features as a function time in an oxygen environment but was relatively invariant with time in argon. In addition, we have measured the spectral shift of this band in an 18O 2 atmosphere. Based on this shift, and by comparison with earlier results obtained from free-jet expansion and laser excitation,more » we can confirm that the oxide in question is UO, consistent with recent reports based on laser ablation in 16O 2 only.« less
  6. Equilibrium theory of cylindrical discharges with special application to helicons

    Radiofrequency discharges used in industry often have centrally peaked plasma density profiles n(r) although ionization is localized at the edge, even in the presence of a dc magnetic field. This can be explained with a simple cylindrical model in one dimension as long as the short-circuit effect at the endplates causes a Maxwellian electron distribution. Surprisingly, a universal profile can be obtained, which is self-similar for all discharges with uniform electron temperature T{sub e} and neutral density n{sub n}. When all collisions and ionizations are radially accounted for, the ion drift velocity toward the wall reaches the Bohm velocity atmore » a radius which can be identified with the sheath edge, thus obviating a pre-sheath calculation. For non-uniform T{sub e} and n{sub n}, the profiles change slightly but are always peaked on axis. For helicon discharges, iteration with the HELIC code for antenna-wave coupling yields profiles consistent with both energy deposition and diffusion profiles. Calculated density is in absolute-value agreement with experiment.« less
  7. Central peaking of magnetized gas discharges

    Partially ionized gas discharges used in industry are often driven by radiofrequency (rf) power applied at the periphery of a cylinder. It is found that the plasma density n is usually flat or peaked on axis even if the skin depth of the rf field is thin compared with the chamber radius a. Previous attempts at explaining this did not account for the finite length of the discharge and the boundary conditions at the endplates. A simple 1D model is used to focus on the basic mechanism: the short-circuit effect. It is found that a strong electric field (E-field) scaledmore » to electron temperature T{sub e}, drives the ions inward. The resulting density profile is peaked on axis and has a shape independent of pressure or discharge radius. This “universal” profile is not affected by a dc magnetic field (B-field) as long as the ion Larmor radius is larger than a.« less
  8. Fusion Energy Sciences Exascale Requirements Review. An Office of Science review sponsored jointly by Advanced Scientific Computing Research and Fusion Energy Sciences, January 27-29, 2016, Gaithersburg, Maryland

    The additional computing power offered by the planned exascale facilities could be transformational across the spectrum of plasma and fusion research — provided that the new architectures can be efficiently applied to our problem space. The collaboration that will be required to succeed should be viewed as an opportunity to identify and exploit cross-disciplinary synergies. To assess the opportunities and requirements as part of the development of an overall strategy for computing in the exascale era, the Exascale Requirements Review meeting of the Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) community was convened January 27–29, 2016, with participation from a broad range ofmore » fusion and plasma scientists, specialists in applied mathematics and computer science, and representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its major computing facilities. This report is a summary of that meeting and the preparatory activities for it and includes a wealth of detail to support the findings. Technical opportunities, requirements, and challenges are detailed in this report (and in the recent report on the Workshop on Integrated Simulation). Science applications are described, along with mathematical and computational enabling technologies. Also see for more information.« less

Search for:
All Records
Creator / Author
"Curreli, Davide"

Refine by:
Resource Type
Publication Date
Creator / Author
Research Organization