Last month CPMI submitted a total of four proposals to fund HIDRA. Several of these were collaborations with other institutions. We will find out in several months if we can breathe life into our five-fold-symmetry monster!
CPMI was intensely involved in last week’s Symposium on Fusion Engineering (SOFE) held this year in Austin, Texas. Chaired by CPMI’s own Dr. Jean Paul Allain, SOFE is the prime fusion energy engineering conference. Professors Dr. Daniel Andruczyk and Dr. Davide Curreli started out the week by organizing and, along with CPMI Director Dr. David Ruzic, contributing to a short course on Plasma Material Interactions for Fusion Plasma Applications. Dr. Ruzic’s lecture for the short course was Plasma Facing Materials in Fusion. Dr. Andruczyk gave two lectures, titled Fundamentals of Plasma Material Interactions and Diagnostics for Plasma Material Interactions, while Dr. Curreli’s two lectures were titled The Plasma Sheath and Computational Plasma Material Interactions 1: Plasma Edge Models.
In addition to the short course, Dr. David Ruzic gave an invited talk titled Design of LiMIT Type Test Module as a Limiter. Dr. Andruczyk presented the status of and progress made on the Hybrid Illinois Device for Research Applications (HIDRA) and gave a second, invited talk on HIDRA and the Materials Challenges for Stellarators. Graduate students Matthew Szott and Peter Fiflis gave talks on wetting of nanostructured surfaces by liquid lithium and tin & the time-resolved observation of tungsten nanostructuring due to helium plasma respectively.
Felipe Bedoya and Anton Neff, two more graduate students, presented posters at the conference. Felipe’s poster was about the Materials Analysis Particle Probe (MAPP) upgrade and its integration into the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX-U) and Anton displayed a poster titled Defect Dynamics of Ultra-Refined Tungsten under Helium Bombardment. Also in attendance were CPMI postdoctoral research scientist Kishor Kalathiparambil and graduate students Mike Christenson and Jon Drobny.
Conferences such as SOFE are an essential and exciting part of CPMI’s role in participating in the global research community and continuing to conduct cutting edge science. In addition to the mutual exchange of knowledge and experience characteristic of every good scientific conference, CPMI’s involvement in the previous SOFE in 2013 led directly to our acquisition of HIDRA (formerly WEGA) – what will result from this year’s SOFE remains to be seen.
An article about HIDRA written by all the CPMI Professors has just appeared in the US Burning Plasma Organization monthly newsletter. We were invited to write this, showing that the community has noticed the new machine and opportunities at Illinois. See current USBPO e-news . HIDRA construction is still proceeding on schedule with first plasma expected in Fall 2015.
The Hybrid Illinois Device for Research and Applications (HIDRA) is slowly but surely coming together! HIDRA is a medium-sized fusion device that will be used primarily as a materials testbed for fusion research. CPMI students and faculty have been hard at work assembling HIDRA and its supporting infrastructure, bringing us ever closer to striking first plasma. Take a look at the time-lapse below to see how far we’ve come:
See if you can spot the small hydra statue kept in view of the time-lapse camera during assembly!
CPMI senior graduate student, Priya Raman, was awarded the Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Scholarship award at the 61st International AVS meeting last week. The prestigious honor and cash prize was awarded for her pioneering work in magnet pack development for use in High-Powered Pulsed Magnetron Sputtering (HPPMS/HiPIMS). She is also a named inventor on a patent recently submitted by CMPI on this device, which will become a product of the Kurt J. Lesker Company. All of us here are very proud of her accomplishments, drive, and spirit. Go Priya!
This entire week trucks are rolling in to the Nuclear Radiation Laboratory with components of HIDRA. The crates are huge and taking all day to move from the trucks to inside the building. The University’s largest crane is set-up in the parking lot. What excitement! The fact that everything is packed so well and organized is a great testament to Prof. Daniel Andruczyk’s planning and effort.
Dr. Martin Nieto, who received both his Master’s (2000) and Doctorate (2004) from the University of Illinois in Nuclear Engineering, has returned for a month-long research collaboration at CPMI. Dr. Nieto has been a regular collaborator of NPRE professor Dr. Jean Paul Allain and has also published with Dr. David Ruzic in the past. Dr. Nieto’s permanent home is Mexico City’s National Polytechnic Institute (Instituto Politécnico Nacional).
Dr. Francisco Tabarés, a fusion researcher at CIEMAT (Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas), a large multi-discliplinary laboratory in Madrid, Spain, has arrived for a short research collaboration with the CPMI faculty and students. Dr. Tabarés will remain in Urbana-Champaign until the 27th of July.
Priya Raman was recently selected as a finalist for the American Vacuum Society’s 2014 prestigious national student awards. Raman’s primary area of research is understanding High-Powered Pulsed Magnetron Sputtering (HPPMS or HiPMS). She is one of eight finalists for AVS’ five national awards which recognize excellent research in the areas of vacuum systems, materials, and thin film technology. She will be interviewed by a panel and also give an oral talk at the AVS meeting in Baltimore this Fall. Go Priya!
Alumina sheet being exposed to 2 kV argon z-pinch. The energetic species generate nano dimensioned structures on the surface.