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Seminar 4/30/2014 - Jean Paul Allain, Univ of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: Plasma-Liquid Surface Interactions in Magnetic Nuclear Fusion

Abstract: The plasma-material interface and its impact on performance of magnetically-confined thermonuclear fusion plasma is considered to be one of the key scientific gaps in the realization of nuclear fusion power.  At this interface high particle and heat flux from the fusion plasma can limit the material’s lifetime and reliability and therefore hinder operation of the fusion device.  The power dissipated over the plasma-wetted surfaces can lead to substantial degradation of materials. In particular, when operating in burning plasma, long-pulse regimes the plasma-facing components are exposed to large fluxes of helium compromising candidate materials, which include tungsten, graphite and beryllium.  Both a neutron flux and particle ion flux (e.g. He, D, T) penetrate the plasma-facing components at various spatial scales that modify the intrinsic properties of the materials.  The plasma-material interface is a key region in the device since material can be emitted both atomistically (evaporation, sputtering, etc…) and/or macroscopically (i.e. large clusters during disruptions).   This talk highlights recent attention to the use of liquid metals as candiate plasma-facing component materials.  Particular emphasis is placed on studies focused on particle-liquid surface interaction in laboratory experiments and also work in existing experimental nuclear fusion reactors.  Key knowledge gaps will be outlined as well as future directions for plasma-liquid surface interaction research will be presented.

Bio: Prof. Jean Paul Allain completed his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  He received a M.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering from the same institution. Prof. Allain joined Argonne National Laboratory as a staff scientist in 2003 and joined the faculty in the School of Nuclear Engineering at Purdue University in Fall of 2007 with a courtesy appointment with the School of Materials Engineering.  Prof. Allain recently joined the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering.  He is an affiliate faculty with the Department of Bioengineering and the Micro and Nanotechnology Lab.  Prof. Allain is the author of over 90 papers in both experimental and computational modeling work in the area of particle-surface interactions.  His research includes developing in-situ surface structure and composition evolution characterization of heterogeneous surfaces under low-energy irradiation promoting structure and function at the nanoscale. Prof. Allain was recipient of numerous awards including the DOE Early Career 2010 Award and the Research Excellence Award in 2011.

All seminars are held on Wednesdays from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. in the Bowen Hall Auditorium Room 222. A light lunch is provided at 11:30 a.m. in the Bowen Hall Atrium immediately prior to the seminar.

Location: Bowen Hall Auditorium

Date/Time: 04/30/14 at 12:00 pm - 04/30/14 at 1:00 pm

Category: PRISM/PCCM Seminar Series

Department: PRISM