LPP Fusion is attempting to clean oxides off our electrodes to reduce impurities in the plasma. We are using microwaves to heat hydrogen gas inside the vacuum chamber. The hydrogen molecules split into two hydrogen atoms. The atoms then strip the oxygen from the tungsten oxides, forming water vapor. However, in this test on Feb.17, using an initial, non-rigid fixture to direct the microwaves through the chamber window, we got only a flickering, uneven glow, showing uneven action of the heated gas.
LPP Fusion is attempting to clean oxides off our electrodes to reduce impurities in the plasma. We are using microwaves to heat hydrogen gas inside the vacuum chamber. The hydrogen molecules split into two hydrogen atoms. The atoms then strip the oxygen from the tungsten oxides, forming water vapor. In this Feb 24 test, the magnetron is attached to the quartz window by a rigid waveguide fixture, in the vertical position. Note intense glow near the end of the treatment.Although the gas activity is more even and intense than in previous tests, oxide removal is not yet adequate. We will soon add more microwave power. Spectra indicate that the gas is heated to over 5000 C. However, since the pressure in the chamber is under 0.3 torr , one two-thousandth of atmospheric, only a small amount of energy is required and the chamber itself is hardly heated.
LPP Fusion Chief Scientist Eric J. Lerner report to an international plasma physics conference June 21, 2016 on recent advances in focus fusion research, including new record ion energy above 250 keV (equivalent to 2.8 billion degrees).
This video shows a test of preionization March 30 using LPPFusion’s FF-1 experimental fusion device. The view is looking upwards at the device’s anode(lower cylinder) and cathode (upper and outer vanes) with the beige-colored ceramic insulator in between. Only half of the vanes are visible in the video, as the window is off-axis. The pulsing noise in the audio is a vacuum pump.
The preionization pulses cause current to flow between the cathode and anode, making the resulting plasma glow purple and blue. As the time between pulses gets shorter, the pulses become more symmetric, with current coming from all vanes. Symmetric preionization will lead to symmetric firing of the main pulse. In actually firing the machine, the main pulse will be triggered only a microsecond after one of the preionization pulses. It will carry 1 million amps of current, while the preionization pulses shown here carry only 100 amps. The aim of the preionization pulses is to provide many electrons for the main pulse. This will slow the electrons down, like a traffic jam, preventing high energy, runaway electrons that can vaporize the anode, creating impurities in the plasma. Such impurities prevent good compression of the plasma and thus reduce fusion yield, which goes up with increasing plasma density. So, symmetric preionization equals good compression, high plasma density, high fusion energy yield.
LPP Fusion Research team start testing the new tungsten electrodes by firing shots with the FF-1 focus fusion device. Chief Scientist Eric Lerner fills the chamber with deuterium. He and Research Associate Clifton Whittaker put fresh gas in the trigger device. Then Lerner charges the capacitors and gives the signal for CIO Ivana Karamitsos to fire the shot. Afterwards, Karamitsos collects the data form the oscilloscopes and Lerner start to look at it. In this early shot, there was no pinch and no fusion. In later shots, fusion was produced, but still limited by impurities. New experiments are planned in September, 2015.
LPP’s mission is the development of a new environmentally safe, clean, cheap and unlimited energy source based on aneutronic fuels and the dense plasma focus device, a combination we call focus fusion.