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Time-Resolved Imaging of Material Response Following Laser-Induced Breakdown in the Bulk and Surface of Fused Silica

Description: Optical components within high energy laser systems are susceptible to laser-induced material modification when the breakdown threshold is exceeded or damage is initiated by pre-existing impurities or defects. These modifications are the result of exposure to extreme conditions involving the generation of high temperatures and pressures and occur on a volumetric scale of the order of a few cubic microns. The response of the material following localized energy deposition, including the timeline of events and the individual processes involved during this timeline, is still largely unknown. In this work, we investigate the events taking place during the entire timeline in both bulk and surface damage in fused silica using a set of time-resolved microscopy systems. These microscope systems offer up to 1 micron spatial resolution when imaging static or dynamic effects, allowing for imaging of the entire process with adequate temporal and spatial resolution. These systems incorporate various pump-probe geometries designed to optimize the sensitivity for detecting individual aspects of the process such as the propagation of shock waves, near-surface material motion, the speed of ejecta, and material transformations. The experimental results indicate that the material response can be separated into distinct phases, some terminating within a few tens of nanoseconds but some extending up to about 100 microseconds. Overall the results demonstrate that the final characteristics of the modified region depend on the material response to the energy deposition and not on the laser parameters.
Date: February 4, 2010
Creator: Raman, R N; Negres, R A; DeMange, P & Demos, S G
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Imaging the early material response associated with exit surface damage in fused silica

Description: The processes involved at the onset of damage initiation on the surface of fused silica have been a topic of extensive discussion and thought for more than four decades. Limited experimental results have helped develop models covering specific aspects of the process. In this work we present the results of an experimental study aiming at imaging the material response from the onset of the observation of material modification during exposure to the laser pulse through the time point at which material ejection begins. The system involves damage initiation using a 355 nm pulse, 7.8 ns FWHM in duration and imaging of the affected material volume with spatial resolution on the order of 1 {micro}m using as strobe light a 150 ps laser pulse that is appropriately timed with respect to the pump pulse. The observations reveal that the onset of material modification is associated with regions of increased absorption, i.e., formation of an electronic excitation, leading to a reduction in the probe transmission to only a few percent within a time interval of about 1 ns. This area is subsequently rapidly expanding with a speed of about 1.2 {micro}m/ns and is accompanied by the formation and propagation of radial cracks. These cracks appear to initiate about 2 ns after the start of the expansion of the modified region. The damage sites continue to grow for about 25 ns but the mechanism of expansion after the termination of the laser pulse is via formation and propagation of lateral cracks. During this time, the affected area of the surface appears to expand forming a bulge of about 40 {micro}m in height. The first clear observation of material cluster ejection is noted at about 50 ns delay.
Date: November 5, 2010
Creator: Demos, S G; Raman, R N & Negres, R A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Solenoid-free Plasma Start-up in NSTX using Transient CHI

Description: Experiments in NSTX have now demonstrated the coupling of toroidal plasmas produced by the technique of Coaxial Helicity Injection (CHI) to inductive sustainment and ramp-up of the toroidal plasma current. In these discharges, the central Ohmic transformer was used to apply an inductive loop voltage to discharges with a toroidal current of about 100 kA created by CHI. The coupled discharges have ramped up to >700 kA and transitioned into an H-mode demonstrating compatibility of this startup method with conventional operation. The electron temperature in the coupled discharges reached over 800 eV and the resulting plasma had low inductance, which is preferred for long-pulse high performance discharges. These results from NSTX in combination with the previously obtained record 160 kA non-inductively-generated startup currents in an ST or tokamak in NSTX demonstrate that CHI is a viable solenoid-free plasma startup method for future STs and tokamaks.
Date: January 5, 2009
Creator: Raman, R; Jarboe, T; Nelson, B; Mueller, D & Soukhanovskii, V A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Monitoring annealing via carbon dioxide laser heating of defect populations in fused silica surfaces using photoluminescence microscopy

Description: Photoluminescence (PL) microscopy and spectroscopy under 266 nm and 355 nm laser excitation are explored as a means of monitoring defect populations in laser-modified sites on the surface of fused silica and their subsequent response to heating to different temperatures via exposure to a CO{sub 2} laser beam. Laser-induced temperature changes were estimated using an analytic solution to the heat flow equation and compared to changes in the PL emission intensity. The results indicate that the defect concentrations decrease significantly with increasing CO{sub 2} laser exposure and are nearly eliminated when the peak surface temperature exceeds the softening point of fused silica ({approx}1900K), suggesting that this method might be suitable for in situ monitoring of repair of defective sites in fused silica optical components.
Date: February 1, 2010
Creator: Raman, R N; Matthews, M J; Adams, J J & Demos, S G
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Autofluorescence dynamics during reperfusion following long-term renal ischemia in a rat model

Description: Optical properties of near-surface kidney tissue were monitored in order to assess response during reperfusion to long (20 minutes) versus prolonged (150 minutes) ischemia in an in vivo rat model. Specifically, autofluorescence images of the exposed surfaces of both the normal and the ischemic kidneys were acquired during both injury and reperfusion alternately under 355 nm and 266 nm excitations. The temporal profile of the emission of the injured kidney during the reperfusion phase under 355 nm excitation was normalized to that under 266 nm as a means to account for changes in tissue optical properties independent of ischemia as well as changes in the illumination/collection geometrical parameters in future clinical implementation of this technique using a hand-held probe. The scattered excitation light signal was also evaluated as a reference signal and found to be inadequate. Characteristic time constants were extracted using fit to a relaxation model and found to have larger mean values following 150 minutes of injury. The mean values were then compared with the outcome of a chronic survival study where the control kidney had been removed. Rat kidneys exhibiting longer time constants were much more likely to fail. This may lead to a method to assess kidney viability and predict its ability to recover in the initial period following transplantation or resuscitation.
Date: February 8, 2008
Creator: Raman, R N; Pivetti, C D; Matthews, D L; Troppmann, C & Demos, S G
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Optical Spectroscopy Approach for the Predictive Assessment of Kidney Functional Recovery Following Ischemic Injury

Description: Tissue that has undergone significant yet unknown amount of ischemic injury is frequently encountered in organ transplantation and trauma clinics. With no reliable real-time method of assessing the degree of injury incurred in tissue, surgeons generally rely on visual observation which is subjective. In this work, we investigate the use of optical spectroscopy methods as a potentially more reliable approach. Previous work by various groups was strongly suggestive that tissue autofluorescence from NADH obtained under UV excitation is sensitive to metabolic response changes. To test and expand upon this concept, we monitored autofluorescence and light scattering intensities of injured vs. uninjured rat kidneys via multimodal imaging under 355 nm, 325 nm, and 266 nm excitation as well as scattering under 500 nm illumination. 355 nm excitation was used to probe mainly NADH, a metabolite, while 266 nm excitation was used to probe mainly tryptophan to correct for non-metabolic signal artifacts. The ratio of autofluorescence intensities derived under these two excitation wavelengths was calculated and its temporal profile was fit to a relaxation model. Time constants were extracted, and longer time constants were associated with kidney dysfunction. Analysis of both the autofluorescence and light scattering images suggests that changes in microstructure tissue morphology, blood absorption spectral characteristics, and pH contribute to the behavior of the observed signal which may be used to obtain tissue functional information and offer predictive capability.
Date: February 11, 2010
Creator: Raman, R N; Pivetti, C D; Rubenchik, A M; Matthews, D L; Troppmann, C & Demos, S G
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fast Neutral Pressure Gauges in NSTX

Description: Successful operation in NSTX of two prototype fast-response micro ionization gauges during plasma operations has motivated us to install five gauges at different toroidal and poloidal locations to measure the edge neutral pressure and its dependence on the type of discharge (L-mode, H-mode, CHI) and the fueling method and location. The edge neutral pressure is also used as an input to the transport analysis codes TRANSP and DEGAS-2. The modified PDX-type Penning gauges are well suited for pressure measurements in the NSTX divertor where the toroidal field is relatively high. Behind the NSTX outer divertor plates where the field is lower, an unshielded fast ion gauge of a new design has been installed. This gauge was developed after laboratory testing of several different designs in a vacuum chamber with applied magnetic fields.
Date: April 26, 2004
Creator: Raman, R.; Kugel, H.W.; Gernhardt, R.; Provost, T.; Jarboe, T.R. & Soukhanovskii, V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ramp-up of CHI Initiated Plasmas on NSTX

Description: Experiments on the National Spherical Torus (NSTX) have now demonstrated flux savings using transient coaxial helicity injection (CHI). In these discharges, the discharges initiated by CHI are ramped up with an inductive transformer and exhibit higher plasma current than discharges without the benefit of CHI initiation.
Date: October 29, 2009
Creator: Mueller, D; Bell, R E; LeBlanc, B; Roquemore, A L; Raman, R; Jarboe, T R et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Design, Installation and Performance of the New insulator for NSTX CHI Experiments

Description: Coaxial Helicity Injection (CHI), a non-inductive method to initiate plasma and generate toroidal plasma current, is being investigated in the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX). The center stack and outer vacuum vessel are separated by insulating gaps at the top and bottom of the slim central column so that a high voltage (up to 2 kV) can be applied between them from a pulsed power supply or a capacitor bank to initiate an arc discharge. In the presence of a suitable poloidal magnetic field, the discharge is initiated at the lower gap (the injector gap) and because of the strong toroidal field develops a helical structure resulting in substantial toroidal plasma current being driven. In NSTX, up to 390 kA of toroidal current has been generated for an injected current of 25 kA. The early investigations of CHI however frequently developed arcs across the insulator at the top of the machine (the absorber gap), which terminated the desired discharge. This arcing greatly restricted the operational space available for CHI studies. During 2002, the absorber region was modified to suppress these arcs. The new design includes a new ceramic insulator on the high field side of the absorber region with a much longer tracking distance between conducting elements at the different potentials. Furthermore, two new coils were installed near the absorber to provide the ability to minimize the poloidal field connecting the center stack and outer vacuum vessel. During the subsequent experimental campaign, CHI operation was less prone to arcing in the absorber and those arcs that did occur did not terminate the main discharge.)
Date: March 5, 2008
Creator: Mueller, D; Chrzanowski, J; Gates, D; Menard, J; Raman, R; Jarboe, T R et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Edge Recycling and Heat Fluxes in L- and H-mode NSTX Plasmas

Description: Introduction Edge characterization experiments have been conducted in NSTX to provide an initial survey of the edge particle and heat fluxes and their scaling with input power and electron density. The experiments also provided a database of conditions for the analyses of the NSTX global particle sources, core fueling, and divertor operating regimes.
Date: August 5, 2003
Creator: Soukhanovskii, V.A.; Maingi, R.; Raman, R.; Kugel, H.; LeBlanc, B.; Roquemore, A.L. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fast Neutral Pressure Measurements in NSTX

Description: Several fast neutral pressure gauges have been installed on NSTX [National Spherical Torus Experiment] to measure the vessel and divertor pressure during inductive and coaxial helicity injected (CHI) plasma operations. Modified, PDX [Poloidal Divertor Experiment]-type Penning gauges have been installed on the upper and lower divertors. Neutral pressure measurements during plasma operations from these and from two shielded fast Micro ion gauges at different toroidal locations on the vessel mid-plane are described. A new unshielded ion gauge, referred to as the In-vessel Neutral Pressure (INP) gauge is under development.
Date: August 6, 2002
Creator: Raman, R.; Kugel, H.W.; Provost, T.; Gernhardt, R.; Jarboe, T.R. & Bell, M.G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Core Fueling and Edge Particle Flux Analysis in Ohmically and Auxiliary Heated NSTX Plasmas

Description: The Boundary Physics program of the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) is focusing on optimization of the edge power and particle flows in b * 25% L- and H-mode plasmas of t {approx} 0.8 s duration heated by up to 6 MW of high harmonic fast wave and up to 5 MW of neutral beam injection. Particle balance and core fueling efficiencies of low and high field side gas fueling of L-mode homic and NBI heated plasmas have been compared using an analytical zero dimensional particle balance model and measured ion and neutral fluxes. Gas fueling efficiencies are in the range of 0.05-0.20 and do not depend on discharge magnetic configuration, density or poloidal location of the injector. The particle balance modeling indicates that the addition of HFS fueling results in a reversal of the wall loading rate and higher wall inventories. Initial particle source estimates obtained from neutral pressure and spectroscopic measurements indicate that ion flux into the divertor greatly exceeds midplane ion flux from the main plasma, suggesting that the scrape-off cross-field transport plays a minor role in diverted plasmas. Present analysis provides the basis for detailed fluid modeling of core and edge particle flows and particle confinement properties of NSTX plasmas. This research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under contracts No. DE-AC02-76CH03073, DE-AC05-00OR22725, and W-7405-ENG-36.
Date: June 12, 2002
Creator: Soukhanovskii, V.A.; Maingi, R.; Raman, R.; Kugel, H.W.; LeBlanc, B.P.; Roquemore, L. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Physics Design of a 28 GHz Electron Heating System for the National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade

Description: A megawatt-level, 28 GHz electron heating system is being designed to support non-inductive (NI) plasma current (I{sub p}) start-up and local heating and current drive (CD) in H-mode discharges in the National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U). The development of fully NI I{sub p} start-up and ramp-up is an important goal of the NSTX-U research program. 28 GHz electron cyclotron (EC) heating is predicted to rapidly increase the central electron temperature (T{sub e}(0)) of low density NI plasmas generated by Coaxial Helicity Injection (CHI). The increased T{sub e}(0) will significantly reduce the Ip decay rate of CHI plasmas, allowing the coupling of fast wave heating and neutral beam injection. Also 28 GHz electron Bernstein wave (EBW) heating and CD can be used during the I{sub p} flat top in NSTX-U discharges when the plasma is overdense. Ray tracing and Fokker-Planck numerical simulation codes have been used to model EC and EBW heating and CD in NSTX-U. This paper presents a pre-conceptual design for the 28 GHz heating system and some of the results from the numerical simulations.
Date: July 9, 2013
Creator: Taylor, G.; Bertelli, N.; Ellis, R. A.; Gerhardt, S. P.; Harvey, R. W.; Hosea, J. C. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Solenoid-free Plasma Start-up in NSTX using Transient CHI

Description: Experiments in NSTX have now unambiguously demonstrated the coupling of toroidal plasmas produced by the technique of CHI to inductive sustainment and ramp-up of the toroidal plasma current. This is an important step because an alternate method for plasma startup is essential for developing a fusion reactor based on the spherical torus concept. Elimination of the central solenoid would also allow greater flexibility in the choice of the aspect ratio in tokamak designs now being considered. The transient CHI method for spherical torus startup was originally developed on the HIT-II experiment at the University of Washington.
Date: November 3, 2008
Creator: Raman, R.; Nelson, B. A.; Mueller, D.; Jarboe, T. R.; Bell, M. G.; LeBlanc, B. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Solenoid-free Plasma Start-up in NSTX using Transient CHI

Description: Experiments in NSTX have now unambiguously demonstrated the coupling of toroidal plasmas produced by the technique of CHI to inductive sustainment and ramp-up of the toroidal plasma current. This is an important step because an alternate method for plasma startup is essential for developing a fusion reactor based on the spherical torus concept. Elimination of the central solenoid would also allow greater flexibility in the choice of the aspect ratio in tokamak designs now being considered. The transient CHI method for spherical torus startup was originally developed on the HIT-II experiment at the University of Washington.
Date: November 3, 2008
Creator: Raman, R.; Nelson, B. A.; Mueller, D.; Jarboe, T. R.; Bell, M. G.; LeBlanc, B. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Supersonic gas injector for plasma fueling

Description: A supersonic gas injector (SGI) has been developed for fueling and diagnostic applications on the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX). It is comprised of a graphite converging-diverging Laval nozzle and a commercial piezoelectric gas valve mounted on a movable probe at a low field side midplane port location. Also mounted on the probe is a diagnostic package: a Langmuir probe, two thermocouples and five pickup coils for measuring toroidal, radial, vertical magnetic field components and magnetic fluctuations at the location of the SGI tip. The SGI flow rate is up to 4 x 10{sup 21} particles/s, comparable to conventional NSTX gas injectors. The nozzle operates in a pulsed regime at room temperature and a reservoir gas pressure up to 0.33 MPa. The deuterium jet Mach number of about 4, and the divergence half-angle of 5{sup o}-25{sup o} have been measured in laboratory experiments simulating NSTX environment. In initial NSTX experiments reliable operation of the SGI and all mounted diagnostics at distances 1-20 cm from the plasma separatrix has been demonstrated. The SGI has been used for fueling of ohmic and 2-4 MW NBI heated L- and H-mode plasmas. Fueling efficiency in the range 0.1-0.3 has been obtained from the plasma electron inventory analysis.
Date: September 30, 2005
Creator: Soukhanovskii, V A; Kugel, H W; Kaita, R; Roquemore, A L; Bell, M; Blanchard, W et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department