Baylor University and CASPER present:
Dr. Bob Kaita
Principal Research Physicist, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Dust Injection for Improving Fusion Plasmas*
The surface conditions for plasma-facing components (PFCs) have long been recognized for their key role in fusion devices. Replacing high-Z refractory materials with low-Z materials reduced energy losses in plasmas through radiation from high-Z impurities. The influx of low-Z impurities has been controlled by coating PFCs with boron to bind oxygen. Plasma performance has also improved by lithium coatings that lower recycling, or the reintroduction of the cold hydrogenic fuel gas that gets trapped in PFCs. A widely used method for creating PFC coatings is to inject boron and lithium into plasmas, from dust particles that are tens of microns in size up to granules in the millimeter range. This talk will describe how PFC conditions affect fusion plasmas, the technology developed for particle injection, and the challenges in understanding the ablation process and the formation of PFC coatings.
About the speaker:
Dr. Robert Kaita is a senior physicist in the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) at Princeton University. At PPPL, he was Head of Boundary Physics Operations for the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U). This device is the largest of its kind for fusion energy research. He was also Co-Principal Investigator for the Lithium Tokamak Experiment (LTX), which is the world’s only tokamak with a liquid lithium wall completely surrounding the plasma. The focus of Dr. Kaita’s research was on plasma-surface interactions and the use of liquid metals as “first-wall” materials for fusion reactors. In Princeton’s Department of Astrophysical Sciences, he has supervised the research of over a dozen doctoral students in plasma physics. Dr. Kaita is a fellow of the American Physics Society, and a recipient of the Kaul Prize for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research and Technology Development for pioneering work in the use of liquid lithium metal as a renewable wall for fusion devices. Dr. Kaita is a fellow and past president of the American Scientific Affiliation, the nation’s largest organization of Christians in science and engineering. He has also been a member of the Faculty Ministry Advisory Council of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and he served as the faculty advisor for the Princeton Graduate Christian Fellowship.
*Work supported by USDOE Contract DE-AC02-09CH11466.
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