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Plasma Laboratory

Plasma Engineering Laboratory

The Mirror and Cusp Plasma Machine was built at Missouri by the Plasma Program sponsored by the Department of Defense of the United States of America. The machine was designed and custom built by the scientists involved in the plasma research program of University of Missouri-Columbia (UM-C).They ran experiments on it for about ten years and finally donated the equipment to the former Scientific Research & Development Department, now Plasma Engineering Laboratory, of the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico (PUPR). The equipment was shipped to Puerto Rico and reassembled once again, section by section, with new and updated parts by PUPR engineering students and professors under the leadership and of professor Edbertho Leal-Quirós, Ph.D. Dr. Leal coordinated the whole effort behind the project for the establishment of the Plasma Engineering Laboratory on an advanced modern facility. The PUPR Plasma Engineering Laboratory is the first laboratory of its kind in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean region starting operations in 2004. The Laboratory is under the direction of Dr. Angel E. González-Lizardo, Ph.D. since January 2008.

This machine creates plasma using magnetic field confinement. The machine has two electric magnets that can be used in two different alignments or configurations, spindle Cusp or Mirror mode. This is one of the advantages of this machine, compared to other designs. The plasma is created by ionizing the gas contained in the machine and confining the ions with a magnetic field. The ionization is achieved by heating the atoms enough so that the electrons on the outer orbit of the atoms are free to displace. The magnetic field creates a flow of electrons that are moving so fast that the ions are not able to recombine with the electrons. This state of the atoms is called plasma.

The Plasma Engineering Laboratory is currently developing research in:

- Basic physics of Electron Cyclotron Resonance,

- Ion implantation in a diversity of materials,

- Basic research in the use of plasma for energy production

- Plasma Diagnostics using electrostatic probes

- Magnetic field confinement

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Description of the plasma machine

In the Mirror and Cusp Plasma Machine the plasma is produced using Electron Cyclotron Resonance Heating (ECRH), with a variable microwave power with a maximum power of 5 kW with a frequency of 2.45 GHz. This device uses two solenoidal magnets parallel to one another to provide the magnetic field. The coils can be run with complementary or opposing fields. Hence, it is possible to run the device either as a simple mirror or as a spindle cusp, which is an advantage over other conventional devices of this kind. The water cooling coils could carrier currents maximum 610 ADC. When the incident microwave source frequency is equal to the cyclotron frequency, ECRH will be formed. In our Plasma Machine, the microwave heating source is:

w resonance = 2.45 GHz

B resonance = 0.0875 Tesla or 875 Gauss

When the movable coils are located in their closet position of 30 cm between the centers of the coils, the mirror ratio is 1.15.

This machine has the advantage of magnetically confine stable plasma and the main goal of this project will be to built and develop new diagnostics probe for plasma research experiments.

Advanced Analyzers and Probes for Fusion-Plasma Diagnostics

Various novel analyzers and probes were designed, built and successfully tested in the Cusp-Mirror machine in the Fusion Research Laboratory at University of Missouri-Columbia and can be used at PUPR Plasma Engineering Laboratory:

The Variable Energy Analyzer (VEA),
the Magnetic Dipole Moment Meter (The æ-Meter),
The Double Energy Analyzer (DEA), and
the Hyperbolic Energy Analyzer (HEA).

The main advantage of these analyzers is that they are very small (about 7-mm diameter) and they are made of materials that resist high temperature, high plasma flux and they are shielded for RF signals. All of them have a probe driver in such way that they can move back and forward inside the machine. For that reason is possible map the plasma inside almost all points inside the device.

Dycor Dymaxion Mass Spectrometer

Dycor Dynamaxion mass spectrometer is a compact quadrupole mass spectrometer capable of distributed control and simultaneous multiplexing analyzer head locations from a single PC. The quadrupole mass spectrometer allows you to identify the masses of individual atoms and molecules that have been converted to ions from a given sample. This technique is unique in that it provides a fingerprints identification for the structural and chemical properties of these molecules. The mass spectrometer is one of a specialized subset of mass spectrometers that measure background gases in an existing vacuum chamber.

Data Acquisition System

One of the fundamental technique for measuring the properties of the plasma is the use of the electrostatic probes. Placing a small probe into the plasma and observing the current to the probe as a function of the difference between the probe and the plasma space potential can determine the basic plasma parameters.

History

Plasma is the fourth ionized state of matter, it’s conformed by a quasi-neutral gas composed of charged and neutral particles, which exhibits a collective behavior; plasma is the most abundant form of matter in the universe (99%). They are profoundly influenced by the electrical interaction of the ions and electrons and by the presence of magnetic fields. Plasmas are classified by several parameters that include the amount of ionization, plasma density, and plasma temperature among others.

The Nobel prize-winning American chemist Irving Langmuir first used this term to describe an ionized gas in 1927: Langmuir was reminded of the way blood plasma carries red and white corpuscles by the way an electric fied fluid carries electrons and ions. Langmuir, along with his colleague Lewi Tonks, was investigating the Engineering and chemistry of tungsten-filament light bulbs, with a view to finding a way to greatly extend the lifetime of the filament (a goal which he eventually achieved). In the process, he developed the theory of plasma sheaths; the boundary layers which form between ionized plasmas and solid surfaces. He also discovered that certain regions of a plasma discharge tube exhibit periodic variations of the electron density, which we nowadays term Langmuir waves. This was the genesis of plasma Engineering. Interestingly enough, Langmuir’s research nowadays forms the theoretical basis of most plasma processing techniques for fabricating integrated circuits.

In fact, a plasma is sometimes defined as a gas that is sufficiently ionized to exhibit plasma-like behavior. Note that plasma-like behavior ensues after a remarkably small fraction of the gas has undergone ionization. Thus, fractionally ionized gases exhibit most of the exotic phenomena characteristic of fully ionized gases. Plasmas resulting from ionization of neutral gases generally contain equal numbers of positive and negative charge carriers. In this situation, the oppositely charged fluids are strongly coupled, and tend to electrically neutralize one another on macroscopic length-scales. Such plasmas are termed quasi-neutral (“quasi” because the small deviations from exact neutrality have important dynamical consequences for certain types of plasma mode). Strongly non-neutral plasmas, which may even contain charges of only one sign, occur primarily in laboratory experiments: their equilibrium depends on the existence of intense magnetic fields, about which the charged fluid rotates.

Gallery

Jorge Gaudier Presenting his Poster at WAESO/ MGE@MSA Conference, April 2007

Jorge Gaudier Presenting his Poster at WAESO/ MGE@MSA Conference, April 2007

Alejandro Barilari Presenting his Poster at WAESO/ MGE@MSA Conference, April 2007

Alejandro Barilari Presenting his Poster at WAESO/ MGE@MSA Conference, April 2007

Students participating at the MGA@MSA/ WAESO Conference at Phoenix, Arizona, 2007

Students participating at the MGA@MSA/ WAESO Conference at Phoenix, Arizona, 2007

Ramón Rivera Presenting his Poster at WAESO/ MGE@MSA Conference, April 2007

Ramón Rivera Presenting his Poster at WAESO/ MGE@MSA Conference, April 2007

Samuel Sanchez Presenting his Poster at WAESO/MGE@MSA Conference, April 2007

Samuel Sanchez Presenting his Poster at WAESO/MGE@MSA Conference, April 2007

Franklyn Colmenares Presenting his Poster at WAESO/ MGE@MSA Conference, April 2007

Franklyn Colmenares Presenting his Poster at WAESO/ MGE@MSA Conference, April 2007

Giovanni Lleonart Presenting his Poster at WAESO/ MGE@MSA Conference, April 2007

Giovanni Lleonart Presenting his Poster at WAESO/ MGE@MSA Conference, April 2007

Efrain Morales Presenting his Poster at WAESO/ MGE@MSA Conference, April 2007

Efrain Morales Presenting his Poster at WAESO/ MGE@MSA Conference, April 2007

Dr. William Miller teaching Radiation Safety in SP-07

Dr. William Miller teaching Radiation Safety in SP-07

Solar Probe Experiment 1

Solar Probe Experiment 1

Plasma Machine Automation Image Gallery

Plasma Machine Automation Image Gallery

Argon Plasma

Argon Plasma

Left to Right: Dr. Nader Farahat, Jorge Gaudier, Fatima Hiraldo, Ramon Rivera, Ryan Meyer, Dr. Edbertho Leal, Dr. Angel Gonzalez.

Left to Right: Dr. Nader Farahat, Jorge Gaudier, Fatima Hiraldo, Ramon Rivera, Ryan Meyer, Dr. Edbertho Leal, Dr. Angel Gonzalez.

Ryan Meyer and Edbertho Leal

Ryan Meyer and Edbertho Leal

Presentations & Publications

Presentations

Plasma Laboratory.
World Status of Fusion Research.
Mass Spectrometer and Leak Detection.
Identification of Electron Cyclotron Resonance Heating (ECR) Surfaces in the UPPR-Plasma Device Operating in the Cusp and Mirror Mode.
Impedance Impedance Mismatch between the Microwave Generator and the Plasma.
Plasma Processing of Municipal Solid Waste.
Determination of Plasma Parameters in the PUPR Mirror and Cusp Plasma Machine via Electrostatic Probe Methods.
Hydrogen Storage in Diamond Powder utilizing NaF Surface Treatment for Fuel Cell Applications.
Vacuum, Power, and Infrastructure.

Publications

1. Adaptive Embedded Digital System for Plasma Diagnostics.

Angel Gonzalez, Othoniel Rodriguez, Osvaldo Mangual, Eduardo Ponce and Xavier Velez.
ICPP-LAWPP 2010, Santiago de Chile, August 2010.

2. Automated Data Acquisition and Data Analysis for Plasma Diagnostics in PUPR-MC Plasma Machine with Web Capabilities.

A Gonzalez-Lizardo, C Serrano-Salvat, 2009 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, TX, June 2009.

3. Electron Populations in the Hot Electron-Ring Region of Mirrors and Cusps measured by Hyperbolic Energy Analyzer


4. Determination Of Plasma Parameters In The PUPR Mirror and Cusp Plasma Machine Via Electrostatic Probe Methods


5. Experimental Design of a High Vacuum System for PUPR Plasma Machine


6. Hydrogen Storage in Diamond Powder Utilizing Sodium Fluoride for Fuel Cell Applications


7. Impedance Mismatch study between the Microwave Generator and the PUPR Plasma Machine


8. Basic Plasma Diagnostics: Probes and Analyzers


9. Hydrogen Storage in Diamond Powder Utilizing NaF for Fuel Cell Applications


10. Surface Hardening Utilizing High Density Plasma Nitriding on Stainless Steel Alloys

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11. Interdisciplinary Research for Engineering Skills Development.

Angel Gonzalez-Lizardo. Acta Universitaria, Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico, August 2008.

12. Automation and control system for the PUPR Mirror/Cusp Plasma Machine.

O Molina, E Morales, A Gonzalez-Lizardo and E Leal-Quirós
Phys. Scr. T131 T131 (October 2008) 014024 (5pp)

13. Surface Hardening Utilizing High Density Plasma Nitriding on Stainless Steel Alloys.

G Lleonart-Davila, J Gaudier, R Rivera, D Leal, A González-Lizardo and E Leal-Quirós
Phys. Scr. T131 T131 (October 2008) 014011 (4pp)

14. Mass Spectrometric Study of Various Coated Targets Utilizing The PUPR Mirror/Cusp Plasma Machine for the NASA Solar Probe Space Mission.

G Lleonart-Davila, J Gaudier, R Rivera, A González-Lizardo and E Leal-Quirós
Phys. Scr. T131 T131 (October 2008) 014049 (4pp)

15. Automatic Measurements of Plasma Parameters in the PUPR Mirror and Cusp Plasma Machine.

S Sanchez, F Colmenares, A González-Lizardo and E Leal-Quirós
Phys. Scr. T131 T131 (October 2008) 014025 (6pp)

16. Enhancement of Polytechnic Uuniversity of Puerto Rico Plasma Machine Cooling System.

D Leal-Escalante, F Colmenares, A Gonzalez-Lizardo and E Leal-Quirós
Phys. Scr. T131 T131 (October 2008) 014009 (5pp)

17. PUPR Plasma Engineering Laboratory. Seminar at University of Missouri-Columbia Department of Nuclear Engineering for students and professors in campus.


18. Automation of PUPR-MC Plasma Machine.

First Prize in Technical Presentation Competition at the 2007 Congreso de Ingeniería, Agrimensura y Afines COINAR (“Congress of Engineering, Land Surveying and Affine”).
Colegio de Ingenieros y Agrimensores de Puerto Rico (CIAPR) (Puerto Rico Engineering and Land Surveyors Association). Universidad Central de Bayamón. February 23, 2007. San Juan, PR.

19. Focused High-Intensity Proton Beam from Lithium Source by using an E x E Stigmatic Selector


20. A Hyperbolic Energy Analyzer

Achievements

Samuel Sanchez. Second Place in Poster Presentation.

“Plasma gas identification using the Single Langmuir Probe in the PUPR Mirror/Cusp Plasma Machine”.
2007 More Graduate Education at Mountain Alliance (MGE@MA) and Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities (WAESO). April 2007.

Ramón Rivera. Third Place in Poster Presentation.

“Enhancement of Plasma Nitriding process to hardness stain less steel”.
2007 More Graduate Education at Mountain Alliance (MGE@MA) and Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities (WAESO). April 2007.

Giovanni Lleonart. Third Place in Poster Presentation.

“Mass spectrometric study of various coated targets utilizing the PUPR Mirror/Cusp Plasma machine for NASA Solar Probe Space Mission”.
2007 More Graduate Education at Mountain Alliance (MGE@MA) and Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities (WAESO). April 2007.

Efrain Morales y Omar Molina. First Place in Technical Presentation.

“Automation of PUPR Mirror-Cusp Plasma Machine”.
2007 Engineering Design Competition COINAR (Congreso de Ingenieria y Agrimensura). Universidad Central de Bayamon. March 2007.

Giovanni Lleonart. Third Place in Technical Poster Presentation.

“Mass Spectrometric Study of Various Coated Targets Utilizing the PUPR-MC Plasma Machine for NASA Solar Probe Space Mission”.
2006 NTCC SHPE Denver Colorado in October 2006.

Giovanni Lleonart. First Place in Technical Poster Presentation

“Mass Spectrometric Study of Various Coated Targets Utilizing the PUPR-MC Plasma Machine for NASA Solar Probe Space Mission”.
2006 Puerto Rico Caribe Hilton Conferences in November 2006.

Ramón Rivera Varona. Third Place in Technical Poster Presentation

“High Density Plasma Nitriding on Stainless Steel Alloys at PUPR-MC Plasma Machine”.
2006 Puerto Rico Caribe Hilton Conferences in October 2006.

Giovanni Lleonart. First Place in Technical Poster Presentation.

“Mass Spectrometric Study of Various Coated Targets Utilizing the PUPR-MC Plasma Machine for NASA Solar Probe Space Mission”.
ETCC SHPE Philadelphia PA in October 2006.

Ramón Rivera Varona. Second Place in Technical Poster Presentation.

“Surface Hardening Utilizing High Density Plasma Nitriding on Stainless Steel Alloys”.
2006 Arizona State University WAESCO@MGE Conferences in April 2006.

Jorge Gaudier. Third Place in Technical Poster Presentation.

“Plasma Diagnostic Using Electric Probes at PUPR-MC Plasma Machine”.
2006 Arizona State University WAESCO@MGE Conferences in April 2006.

David Leal Escalante. Second Place in Technical Paper Presentation.

“Hydrogen Storage in Diamond Powder utilizing Sodium Fluoride for Fuel Cell Applications”.
2005 ETCC SHPE Philadelphia PA in October 2005.

Contact

Office Hours:

Monday to Thursday – 8:00am to 4:30pm
Friday – 8:00am to 3:00pm

Email:

agonzale@pupr.edu

Telephone:

(787) 751-7581 Voice
(787) 767-2921 Fax

Mail:

Plasma Engineering Laboratory
P.O. Box 192017

Supported by

NASA Mizzou USEn