We have developed a Pulsed Plasma Device called the Dense Plasma Focus (DPF).
The DPF is a dense, hot burst of ionized gas that emits a short pulse of soft x-rays or neutrons.
This pulse is produced by driving a current of hundreds of kiloamperes through a cold gas such as Deuterium, Neon or Argon. The current heats the gas and the magnetic field due to the current crushes the gas to produce a small spot of very hot, ionized plasma. Conditions inside this spot are similar to those found in the sun. This hot spot lives only for a few billionths of a second.
Repetitive pulsing of the current gives an average power of neutrons or soft x-rays that is useful to search for explosives in cargo containers or to make patterns on Silicon chips that are finer than those printed today using ultraviolet lasers.
The DPF soft x-ray source might also find applications in medical microscopy (imaging of living cells).
Longer range plans are to make such a device emit harder, more penetrating x-rays, for use in medical x-ray imaging or for the fabrication of very small (MEMS) devices.
AASC has developed 3 DPF test-beds.
Possible applications of these test beds are:
- Lithography using EUV or soft x-rays
- Fusion materials testing
- Neutron source for materials detection
- Ion beam source
- Electron beam source
|Rep-rate||Up to 2Hz||Up to 100Hz||Up to 2Hz|
|Average neutron rate (DD)||6x106 n/s||4x107 n/s||6x108 n/s|
|Projected Neutron rate (DT)||6x108 n/s||4x109 n/s||6x1010 n/s|
|Pulse width||20 - 40 ns||~20 ns||20 - 40 ns|
|Peak current||140 kA||60 kA||350 kA|