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Pulsed Plasma Source


Development of pulsed plasma source for technological processes.

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-SYN/Materials Synthesis and Processing/Materials

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Karabashev S G

Leading Institute
Kurchatov Research Center / Institute of Nuclear Fusion, Russia, Moscow


  • Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), USA, IL, Argonne

Project summary

The pulsed plasma propulsions (erosive type) developed at the Institute of Nuclear Fusion within the framework of spacecraft engines are proposed to be used for technology. These techniques generate a plasma flow, in 1-2 cm diameter, with the concentration of particles up to 1018 cm-3, the temperature 3-5 eV, and the velocity up to 200 km/s. The specific energy content in the flow can attain 1 kJ/cm3. The efficiency of electric power conversion into the plasma energy is 40-50%. Plasma flow pergence is about 10°, plasma flow has a diameter of 30-50 cm in the distance of 1 m from the accelerator. The parameters of plasma flow, exposed to samples, can be varied in a wide range with the power supply voltage, current pulsed duration, etc.

The pulsed plasma propulsions can be used for such technological processes of material surface modification, as hardening and strengthening of metals and alloys, filming, amorphization of metallic surfaces, decreasing metal corrosion etc. The proposed method has the following advantages for their implementation in technologies design simplicity (absence of gaseous fast-response valves and current switches), an possibility to rapidly control the flow parameters, reliability in operation, simplicity of maintenance under industrial conditions.

The Project envisages the following task, directed to utilization of pulsed plasma propulsions for technological purposes:

- study of plasma flow focusing and plasma parameters monitoring out of accelerator channel;
- development theoretical models of plasma flow and plasma-sample interaction mechanisms;
- study of flow deceleration mechanism and interaction between the plasma and samples of structural materials;
- development of various techniques of introduction of operating substances into the flow;
- development of technology for materials surface properties modified under irradiation by low temperature plasma.


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