LLPS Research

Investigations of plasma-wall interactions belong to the key area for mastering fusion energy, which was emphasized in the "Road map to master fusion energy" developed by EUROfusion in 2012.
The roots of the participation of LLPS scientists in this subject go back to the very beginning of IFPiLM's involvement in cooperation with international organizations co-operating  for the development of fusion energy within the EURATOM community. At the turn of 2004 and 2005, the current team leader was already working on the first project of the then OPL (Laser Plasma Division) in cooperation with EURATOM, which was laser removal of the co-deposit from the graphite elements of the TEXTOR tokamak.
The success of this project encouraged the then team led by dr hab. Jerzy Wołowski (currently a professor) to participate in subsequent projects coordinated by the then EFDA (European Fusion Development Agreement), constituting actually separate research directions: removal of fuel and codeposit with high-power medium lasers, diagnostics of dust and fuel retention and development of LIBS diagnostics , which soon became one of the most important research activities, especially after Dr. Monika Kubkowska (who is currently the leader of the entire plant) joined the team.
Thanks to the project financing, the equipment base has been getting better: besides nanosecond laser, pulsed fiber laser with high average power and dual-pulse nanosecond laser, it included the MECHELLE 5000 spectrometer equipped with a camera with image intensifier knocking out for broadband optical spectrum observation with good resolution, NANOVEA profilometer allowing for laser-produced tests craters, a vacuum chamber equipped with pumps, optical tables and minor diagnostics and opto-mechanical equipment in the form of pyrometers, a remote-controlled XY stage, as well as optical microscopes, ion diagnostics, lenses, handles, windows, etc.

LIBS tests, which at the first stage had required hardware support, now could have been conducted independently. Not only had not it ceased the co-operation, but have it allowed to find new collaborators.

Modern equipment was a solid support for scientists participating in subsequent European projects, which after the replacement of EFDA by EUROfusion focused mainly on LIBS. More and more teams cooperated in research, among others From Italy, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Estonia, Finland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Latvia. In the meantime, carbon fibers, which were to form the basis for the construction of strike-points in the ITER divider, due to the need to eliminate chemical erosion, was replaced by tungsten. The so-called mixed materials, i.e. substrates covered with layers, which in new generation tokamaks will be formed as a result of transporting the material from the main chamber to the divertor. The team from IFPiLM followed the new trends well by conducting LIBS research on this type of materials as one of the first.
The most recognized activity of the team has become a two-pulse variant of the method (DP LIBS), which allows obtaining better sensitivity and a higher signal-to-noise ratio than the conventional method. This variant was also in the close interest of the team with ENEA Frascati, which led to a gradual strengthening of cooperation between the ENEA and IFPiLM teams, which resulted in numerous joint experiments and articles.
The most important result of this cooperation was a joint experiment carried out in 2019, whose work was to conduct the world's first LIBS measurements inside a tokamak (FTU in Frascati) using a remote-controlled head. In addition to the PFC (Plasma Facing Components) characterization, LIBS measurements were performed for calibration samples installed at arbitrarily selected locations of the chamber.
Thanks to the success of the experiment at FTU, in the next years it is planned to implement a similar system of the remote-controlled LIBS head on a larger device, e.g. JET, which will of course be carried out in cooperation with Polish and Italian teams. At the same time, research is still underway to optimize and adapt LIBS to the next challenges, which is to prepare systems to ensure the proper functioning of ITER, i.e. the world's largest tokamak currently under construction in Cadarache, which will certainly answer the most important questions about the possibilities of fusion thermonuclear energy.

Investigations of plasma-wall interactions belong to the key area for mastering fusion energy, which was emphasized in the "Road map to master fusion energy" developed by EUROfusion in 2012.
The roots of the participation of LLPS scientists in this subject go back to the very beginning of IFPiLM's involvement in cooperation with international organizations co-operating  for the development of fusion energy within the EURATOM community. At the turn of 2004 and 2005, the current team leader was already working on the first project of the then OPL (Laser Plasma Division) in cooperation with EURATOM, which was laser removal of the co-deposit from the graphite elements of the TEXTOR tokamak.

PWI interactions in tokamaks

Plasma-Wall interactions are a very important area of ​​international effort to master energy based on thermonuclear fusion. It is clearly marked on the road map of these studies, as evidenced by the establishment of the WP PFC work package dedicated to PWI in the EUROfusion organization (Work Package: Plasma Facing Components) and their also present in other programs such as MST (Medium Size Tokamaks).

The purpose of the research is to develop materials, components, diagnostic and maintenance techniques that will ensure the efficient operation of the new generation of tokamaks in terms of durability, safety and minimization of the impact of the internal wall of these devices on the plasma. The scope of research is very wide, because it considers not only the impact of destructive factors of plasma (high energy ions, electrons, radiation and neutrons), but also the complex phenomena that occur under their influence. These include physical and chemical erosion, re- and co-depositing, recycling, arcing, fuel retention, cracks, bubbles and micropores, and material activation.

For 2020, it is planned to continue work aimed at characterizing hydrogen isotope retention, with the emphasis being shifted to analyzing samples from experimental devices with magnetic plasma confinement, such as the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak and the Wendelstein 7X stellator.
As in previous years, tests on the same samples will be carried out in different centers (IFPiLM and ENEA (Italy), FZJ (Germany), CU (Slovakia), Differ (Netherlands), ISSP-UL (Latvia), UT (Estonia) and VTT (Finland)).

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Research projects carried out at the IPPLM are funded by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the National Science Centre and by the European Commission within the framework of EUROfusion Consortium under grant agreement No 633053. Financial support comes also from the International Atomic Energy Agency, European Space Agency and LaserLab Consortium as well as from the Fusion for Energy Agency.

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