GUWAHATI, Oct 29 - An innovative technique has been developed by the scientists of the Centre of Plasma Physics, Institute for Plasma Research (CPP-IPR), Sonapur, in collaboration with the Institute for Plasma Research, Gandhinagar for the production of negative hydrogen ions.“Negative hydrogen ions have a wide variety of significant applications in thermonuclear fusion reactor for energy generation, particle accelerators, surface modifications and biomedical fields. Negative hydrogen ion-based neutral beam injection is one of the important methods to heat plasma inside the fusion reactor. However, the existing negative ion source configuration has limitations in terms of production, extraction etc. To overcome these limitations, an experiment based on a novel concept of surface-assisted volume negative ions production by sprinkling cesium coated tungsten dust grains into a hydrogen plasma has been carried out at CPP-IPR and this new concept has been successfully validated,” Dr. Siddhartha Sankar Kausik who developed the technique along with Dr. Bharat Kakati and Dr. Bipul Kumar Saikia (project leader) of CPP-IPR and Dr. Mainak Bandyopadhyay and Prof. Predhiman Krishan Kaw of IPR, Gandhinagar, told The Assam Tribune.
The negative hydrogen ions are produced almost uniformly around the dust column and fill the plasma volume. As a result, it is not required to reverse the direction of these ions for extraction unlike conventional negative ion source.
“As the micron-sized cesium-coated tungsten dust is used as low-work function surface for negative hydrogen ion production, considering some advantages, the present source can be converted to a compact efficient ion source in future,” Dr. Kausik said.
Recently these findings were published in an article titled Development of a novel surface assisted volume negative hydrogen ion source in Scientific Reports (A Nature Research Journal), widely considered as one of the best journals in the world.
It shows the reliability of the invention of new negative hydrogen ion source and its importance. The article is openly accessible and one can download/read the full text paper at www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-10685-4.pdf.
The group has already patented the work. The work was supported by the Department of Atomic Energy, Govt of India.