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Nanostructure surface layers produced by nanosecond pulsed irradiation of plasma facing materials of fusion reactors and their influence on hydrogen isotope retention by them

V.A. Gribkov, E.V. Demina, A.V. Dubrovsky, V.N. Pimenov, S.V. Maslyaev, M. Chernyshova, L. Karpinski, R.A. Miklaszewski, M. Scholz, C. Tuniz, A. Tartari
Institute of Plasma Physics and Laser Microfusion, PL

Keywords: nanostructures, surface layer, dense plasma focus, hydrogen isotopes retention


We found that nanosecond pulses of hot plasma and fast ion beam produce very well developed nanostructures, having characteristic sizes of hundred nanometers, on the surface of the materials used in fusion reactors like, aluminum or low-activated stainless steels. Such structures may appear regularly just in a single “shot” of the Dense Plasma Focus device in a certain range of irradiation parameters. But with an increase of the number of such irradiations the above-mentioned relief becomes more profound. It has a quite unexpected consequence. We discovered in this very new field of DPF applications that content of hydrogen isotopes implanted by force method into the bulk of material with concentration much higher compared with the solubility limit decreases with an increase of the shot’s quantity. This feature is of great importance for future fusion reactors in the context of hydrogen retention by plasma-facing elements. We associate this phenomenon with a strong enlargement of the surface area of the samples due to the acquired nanostructures that results in an accelerated diffusion (release) of gas from solid materials back into the reactor’s chamber.
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