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Title: Erosion and re-deposition of lithium and boron coatings under high-flux plasma bombardment
Authors: Abrams, Tyler Wayne
Advisors: Jaworski, Michael A
Contributors: Astrophysical Sciences Department
Keywords: evaporation
liquid metals
plasma-material interactions
thin films
Subjects: Plasma physics
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Lithium and boron coatings are applied to the walls of many tokamaks to enhance performance and protect the underlying substrates. Li and B-coated high-Z substrates are planned for use in NSTX-U and are a candidate plasma-facing component (PFC) for DEMO. However, previous measurements of Li evaporation and thermal sputtering on low-flux devices indicate that the Li temperature permitted on such devices may be unacceptably low. Thus it is crucial to characterize gross and net Li erosion rates under high-flux plasma bombardment. Additionally, no quantitative measurements have been performed of the erosion rate of a boron-coated PFC during plasma bombardment. A realistic model for the compositional evolution of a Li layer under D bombardment was developed that incorporates adsorption, implantation, and diffusion. A model was developed for temperature-dependent mixed-material Li-D erosion that includes evaporation, physical sputtering, chemical sputtering, preferential sputtering, and thermal sputtering. The re-deposition fraction of a Li coating intersecting a linear plasma column was predicted using atomic physics information and by solving the Li continuity equation. These models were tested in the Magnum-PSI linear plasma device at ion fluxes of 10^23-10^24 m^-2 s^-1 and Li surface temperatures less than 800 degrees C. Li erosion was measured during bombardment with a neon plasma that will not chemically react with Li and the results agreed well with the erosion model. Next the ratio of the total D fluence to the areal density of the Li coating was varied to quantify differences in Li erosion under D plasma bombardment as a function of the D concentration. The ratio of D/Li atoms was calculated using the results of MD simulations and good agreement is observed between measurements and the predictions of the mixed-material erosion model. Li coatings are observed to disappear from graphite much faster than from TZM Mo, indicating that fast Li diffusion into the bulk graphite substrate occurred, as predicted. Li re-deposition fractions very close to unity are observed in Magnum-PSI, as predicted by modeling. Finally, predictions of Li coating lifetimes in the NSTX-U divertor are calculated. The gross erosion rate of boron coatings was also measured for the first time in a high-flux plasma device.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Plasma Physics

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