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Daniel T.S. Cook


Dr. William Heidbrink
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of California, Irvine

Dr. Thomas Askew
Physics Department
Kalamazoo College

A paper submitted in partial fulfillment
Of the requirements for the degree of
Bachelor of Arts at
Kalamazoo College

Fall Quarter, 2005


Acknowledgments iii

Abstract iv

I. Introduction 1
A. Plasma 1
B. Nuclear Fusion 1
C. Plasma Confinement 2
D. The Field-Reversed Configuration 3
E. The University of California, Irvine FRC Experiment 3
F. Plasma Diagnostics 4
G. Passive Spectroscopy, Line-Emission Spectroscopy 4

II. Background 5
A. FRC Theory 5
B. Spectroscopy Theory 7
C. Electron Temperature Determination 8

III. Spectrometer Design and Construction 9
A. Experimental Arrangement and Light Collection 10
B. Signal Generation and Amplification 10
C. Spectrometer Calibration 12
D. Spectral Line Ratio Measurements 15
E. Noise Reduction 16

IV. Results and Discussion 18

V. Conclusion 20

A. Relevant Spectral Line Information 23

B. Photodiode Calibration 23

C. Photodiode Characteristics 23


D. Filter Characteristics 23

E. Operational Amplifier Characteristics 23

F. Symbols 24

References 24


advising. iii . and assisting me throughout my time on this project. Acknowledgments Thank you to William Heidbrink for mentoring. Erik Trask and Wayne Harris for advice and assistance inside and outside the scope of the project. Alan Van Drie for assistance with data collection. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and the US Department of Energy for supporting this project through the National Undergraduate Fellowship Program in Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy Sciences. Eusebio Garate and Thomas Askew for also advising me on this project.

Details of design and construction for a photodiode based spectrometer taking advantage of this model are also presented. Abstract The use of passive spectroscopy to determine electron temperatures is well documented and has the important benefit of being noninvasive. as well as details regarding data acquisition and analysis using this spectrometer. we present a model for the estimation of electron temperature utilizing the ratio of emitted line intensities in a plasma. such as those based on Stark broadening or Thompson scattering. The use of line intensities in particular is important because other spectrographic techniques. can be difficult to employ in certain situations. iv . Here.

and the excess energy produced can be harnessed. it has the potential to produce nearly boundless amounts of safe. The energy required to produce fusion is extreme – found in nature. which we only recently have. and possibly the most useful. A problem arises however. to arc welding.I. previously in the history of the universe. when having gathered this amount of energy one must then find a way to channel it into the ions which are to be fused. From fluorescent lighting and neon signs. The large amounts of energy required are in fact attainable using our technology and resources. are the man-made plasmas that are useful to us everyday. The process through which this takes place is well understood. for example. B. and even new plasma televisions. on the surface of stars. Perhaps the most interesting. Plasma Plasmas. to semiconductor chip etching. After having overcome this hurdle. around lightning. Indeed. the name given to ionized gases by Nobel laureate Irving Langmuir in the early 1900’s. one must then direct the energy in such a way as to cause the 1 . And the potential for further exploitation of the unique properties of plasmas is such that they are likely to become only more prevalent. Ever since Langmuir founded the field of plasma physics through his research of tungsten-filament light bulbs. neutral atoms can ionize to become plasma. INTRODUCTION A. generally with some excess energy. At an energy level this high. the discipline has proved vital to further our understanding of the world around us. If it can be controlled. Of more immediate interest to most however. all matter is thought to have been plasma [2]. non-polluting electrical power for the future [3]. plasmas are becoming a part of our daily life. and in many other places [1]. in the center of stars. They exist naturally as interstellar clouds and solar wind. potential application of plasmas is to generate electrical power through nuclear fusion. Nuclear Fusion Nuclear fusion occurs when two nucleii are joined together to produce a heavier nucleus. as the earth’s ionosphere. are thought to comprise the vast majority of matter in the known universe. The reason that we are not yet using nuclear fusion as a power source is because of the myriad challenging problems that exist with its actual implementation.

steel box. all of which are understood to varying degrees. the biggest that we still face. however these schemes tend to be less well understood [4]. Most of these confinement schemes.ions to collide and fuse. such as the tokamak. The potential exists with some other sources for a plasma which is self-organized to a greater degree.which is what allows us to channel the energy into it in the first place . The plasma can be confined magnetically. On the bright side. and in so doing kept from coming in contact with the walls. contain it the best we can. multi-billion dollar experiment called ITER located in France. spheromak. or some sort of specialized ceramic. the plasma is confined through the use of immense gravitational fields. the only way to achieve fusion is to energize the plasma. While the tokamak is the best understood confinement scheme. the ionized nature of plasma . Unfortunately. say a glass tube. In stars. Even if we were able to energize plasma to a sufficient level for nuclear fusion in some sort of standard container. it has the drawback of requiring great external energy input. We are not even able to do this however. stellerator. C. because the energy lost by the plasma colliding with the walls would prevent us from ever reaching the necessary excitation. There have been many approaches to confining high energy plasmas. Plasma Confinement Since we are unable to direct ions well enough to cause collisions with a high probability.presents us with a solution. is the problem of confinement. This last problem. as is evidenced by the beginning of a recent multinational. the atoms on the wall in contact with the plasma would very quickly also be ionized and turned into plasma. This exper- iment is designed to study and demonstrate the self-sustainability of a large-scale fusion reactor. and wait for the ions to collide on their own. Perhaps the most well understood system is that of the tokamak. One promising such scheme is that of the field-reversed configuration. Although the ionized nature of plasma also brings with it other properties which make this type of confinement inherently unstable. 2 . and one that acts in a poloidal direction. spherical torus. and others employ toroidal magnetic field geome- tries of differing complexity. we have been able to counter the instabilities to some degree. one that acts in a toroidal direction. this is not an option for us. They generally require two main magnetic fields.

as described in Section II A. Unfortunately. it does not implement the standard method for FRC creation. E. this merely demonstrates the lack of understanding that exists surrounding them. although these durations have been shown to be significantly longer than theory would predict [4]. The Field-Reversed Configuration In a field-reversed configuration (FRC). The University of California. while reversing the magnetic field surrounding it. it uses a method known as Coaxial Slow Source (CSS) formation. D. as shown in Figure 1. Instead. This method was originally proposed by Phillips [5. but instead to investigate FRC creation and confinement. Irvine FRC experiment (IFRC). as well as having more self-organization than in other schemes [4]. 6]. that of the Field Reversed Theta Pinch (FRTP). This has the effect of creating areas of closed magnetic field loops. This method is beneficial because conventional FRC techniques may be difficult to implement in relatively large sizes [7]. As a result. 3 . plasma confinement is achieved without the use of a toroidal magnetic field. This is the goal of the University of California. FIG. and more basic research must be conducted. This is accomplished by using the magnetic properties of the plasma to freeze an initial magnetic field in a portion of the plasma. Both of these aspects of FRCs cause them to require less initial energy input. and first implemented at the University of Washington [7]. As of yet FRCs have only been achieved for short durations. This method has the advantages of having a large ratio of particle pressure to magnetic field pressure (high β) plasmas. as well as less continuous energy input. 1: Sketch of magnetic fields in typical field-reversed configuration. Irvine FRC Experiment The aim of IFRC is not to research nuclear fusion directly. providing an efficient way of energizing the plasma.

Finally. F. which inject heavy ions or energetic photons into plasma. as well as being implementable in some cases where material probes are not. This type of diagnostic has the advantage of being completely non-invasive. Line-Emission Spectroscopy Passive spectroscopy consists essentially of observing plasma externally without interfer- ing with it. such as measuring interior magnetic fields with magnetic pickup coils. the approach that we chose to adopt was that of line-emission spectroscopy. as is done with Langmuir probes. as in many experiments. ion temperature. the 4 . one of the challenges that must be met is that of gathering information about the plasma. Some examples of this are heavy-ion beam probes and laser-induced flourescence. 9]. respectively. Although electron temperature can be measured in many ways. each with their own advantages and disadvantages. which will be the subject of this paper. In line-emission spectroscopy. These methods have the advantages of being simple and well understood. Of particular interest in IFRC. and electrical field information [10]. is the measurement of electron temperature. Passive Spectroscopy. These objects can then be used to monitor the plasma itself. where the plasma is probed by exciting it in a specific way and observing the effects. but have the disadvantages of being invasive and sometimes non-implementable [8. are observed. Similar to these methods are those such as microwave interferometry and microwave reflectometry. Another class of diagnostic methods is active spectroscopy. These methods have the benefits of being less invasive than material probes. Many methods have been developed to this end. where physical objects are placed inside the plasma. there is a class of plasma diagnostics known as passive spectroscopy. G. However. Perhaps the most common class of methods is that of material probes. where microwaves are launched into the plasma and their phase shift and reflectance. although it often sac- rifices some degree of precision and resolution. Plasma Diagnostics When conducting magnetic fusion research. Some of the information that can be gathered regarding a plasma using this method are electron temperature. or to monitor characteristics inside the plasma. they are often very complicated and/ or expensive to perform.

as the magnetic field increases in magnitude in the opposite direction. their high sensitivity to formation and confinement parameters has caused experiments to remain largely based around trial and error. the plasma expands toward the walls of the container. an initial ”bias” magnetic field is applied to contained gas. II. and these ratios are used to calculate the temperature. FRC Theory As mentioned in section I D. as the magnetic field initially decreases. BACKGROUND A. can not be employed for low energy plasma [8. Unfortunately. Although there has been some degree of success in forming FRCs. such as Stark broadening and Thompson scattering. as is illustrated in Fig- ure 2. the theory behind FRCs is still not complete [4]. in which the reconnection causes an axial contraction of the now self-contained plasma configuration. During field reversal. the flux of the plasma induced by the bias field causes the plasma to be pushed toward the center of the container and to lift off the wall. the plasma continues to implode radially. in which equilibrium between all of the fields 5 . We chose this method in particular because other measurements. First. Then. This causes the plasma to begin to heat. and reconnect. good temporal resolution can be achieved with this method. This reconnection begins the next stage. causing the plasma to heat further. which begins directly after lift-off. giving information on the thermal evolution of the plasma throughout the experiment. Like other passive spectrographic techniques. Oppositely directed magnetic field lines near the ends of the plasma then pinch together. the basic steps in FRC formation have remained much the same. The bias field induces an overarching flux which will be frozen into the plasma throughout the lifespan of the FRC. tear. Although some more recent improvements have aided in creating more control and better behaved plasmas. which is then ionized to create plasma. The next stage is known as field reversal. In the third stage. where the direction of external magnetic field is quickly reversed.intensities of different spectral lines emitted from the plasma are compared. This continues until the final stage. also like other passive spectrographic techniques. 10. The FRTP method for creating FRCs involves five basic stages. 11]. it provides poor spatial resolution.

which lasts throughout the experiment. 2: Typical steps in FRC Formation. which makes them more cost effective. and a flux coil. FIG. After these fields are reasonably established. 6 . This has the advantages of requiring smaller capacitor banks. The mirror coil applies a magnetic field on the axial boundaries of the experiment which replace the field line tearing and reconnection in a FRTP by containing the plasma using a magnetic mirror. the coils that are used are a bias coil. is reached and the FRC is completely formed [12]. which results in a dominating magnetic field. a mirror coil. is fired. In CSS formation. The flux coil is fired at a higher power than the other two coils. This helps to study FRCs with better temporal resolution. the flux coil. The bias coil applies the initial magnetic field for the FRC. It is fired in the opposite direction of the bias coil so as to provide the field reversal necessary for FRC formation. Once the plasma has had time to acquire the bias flux. both the bias coil and the mirror coil are fired in vacuum. It also allows more control over the formation of the FRC. the magnetic fields required are generally induced by pulsing large cur- rents through many separate toroidal coils surrounding the plasma. the third and final coil. The approximate timing for the firing of these coils can be seen in Figure 3. pre-ionized plasma is injected axially into the system. as well as allowing slow FRC formation. In IFRC. This field also lasts through- out the experiment. Unlike in an FRTP.

chamber pressure 1. 3: Plot of FRC driving coil currents vs time. plasma gun voltage 9700 V. they emit photons with an energy corresponding to the difference in those levels. and ν is the frequency of the photon. which has the consequence that it is not in fact completely ionized. h is Plank’s constant. flux coil voltage 4500 V. Knowing the possible excitation levels for a particular atom. The different emitted photon frequencies are observed as spectral lines. delay 25µs. (Shot # 00240: bias coil voltage 350 V. where ∆E is the change in energy levels of the electron. When these electrons eventually decay back into lower energy levels. giving a measurement of the abundances of each electron excitation level. B. mirror coil voltage 1250 V. as given by Z 1 ~ωki Iki = Aki Nk dx. (1) 4π 0 7 . delay 0µs. Although very hot plasmas will be necessary to achieve nuclear fusion. This intensity of the spectral line emitted by an electron decaying from energy level k to i depends linearly on the number electrons excited to that level in the line of observation. the electrons in those atoms are excited to higher energy levels. the spectral line intensities can be observed and compared. The frequency of the photon can then be measured and the initial energy of the excited electron calculated by the equation ∆E = hν.1E-6 Torr. delay 0µs. delay 0µs.FIG. and are the basis for spectroscopy. it is the cool nature of IFRC and many other plasma experiments that allows the use of spectroscopy as a diagnostic tool. When partially ionized atoms in the plasma are heated. Spectroscopy Theory The plasma in IFRC is relatively cool compared to high-energy plasma experiments.

Electron Temperature Determination To calculate electron temperature from the intensities. and the integral is along the viewing sight-line [8. Nk is the population density of electrons in state k. (2) Ni gi kTe where gk is the statistical weight – the total number of associated states – of the upper energy level. We assume that the plasma is in partial local thermodynamic equilibrium (PLTE). Ei is the energy of the lower level. (3) Ik2i2 Ak2i2 gk2 λk1i1 kTe [8. 14]. k is Boltzmann’s constant. we must make an assumption about the distribution of energy in the system. the ratio in which the electrons decay to the same lower energy level is described by the equation   Nk gk Ek − Ei = exp − . ωki is the frequency of the spectral line. C. the ratio of the line intensities can then be described by   Ik1i1 Ak1i1 gk1 λk2i2 Ek1 − Ek2 = exp − . and electron densities are high enough that radiative rates are at least one order of magnitude smaller than collisional rates [8. by which it is meant that the Saha and Boltzmann thermal equilibrium relations provide good approximations. ~ is Plank’s constant. Aki is the transition probability for spontaneous emission per unit time. Now the electron temperature can be calculated by 8 . If two different spectral lines are similarly observed. 9. and so kTe is the plasma electron temperature (average thermal energy) in electron volts. This assumption is possible when free electron distributions are close to Maxwellian or Fermi distributions.where Iki is the spectral line intensity. 13]. Te is the average thermal energy of an electron in Kelvin. gi is the statistical weight of the lower energy level. Applying PLTE to electron excitation populations. Ek is the energy of the upper level. 9]. 13.

The second ratio was that of hydrogen Hα and Hβ lines. − (Ek1 − Ek2 ) kTe = h  i (4) Ik1i1 Ak2i2 gk2 λk1i1 ln Ik2i2 Ak1i1 gk1 λk2i2 − (Ek1 − Ek2 ) = h  i. factors such as population density and observed solid angle can be ignored. errors in relative line inten- sity measurements are amplified. 9 . III. SPECTROMETER DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION In IFRC. which are centered at 656nm and 486nm. This has the result that if the two wavelengths are observed in a similar fashion. as opposed to absolute line intensities. (7) Te Ek1 − Ek2 (Ik1i1 /Ik2i2 ) kTe From this is is seen that if Ek1 −Ek2 becomes much larger than 1. (5) Ik1i1 ln Ik2i2 /α where α is the line ratio coefficient: Ak1i1 gk1 λk2i2 α= . two spectral line ratios were measured. The lines compared were one centered at a wavelength of 777nm and one at 615nm. which could result in large inaccuracies in the calculated temperature [8. we get ∆Te kTe ∆(Ik1i1 /Ik2i2 ) = . 14]. These particular lines were chosen because they have high relative intensity. This is beneficial because these factors may be unknown and/ or difficult to measure. and are isolated from other spectral lines that could be emitted from the plasma [8]. Differentiating equation (3). The first ratio was of lines from neutral oxygen impurities in the system. (6) Ak2i2 gk2 λk1i1 The use of ratios is crucial because it only requires measurements of relative line intensi- ties. This is an effect that must be considered before deciding to implement this method of plasma diagnostic for a particular experiment. The relevant information for calculating electron temperature from these lines is shown in Appendix A [CITE].

Experimental Arrangement and Light Collection A schematic representation of the experimental set up for measuring electron temperature in IFRC is shown in Figure 4. and the length was chosen to balance the cross sectional viewed area with the solid angle.FIG.. The solid angle. B. Signal Generation and Amplification The light through each filter was collected by a silicon photodiode. A.25in and length 4in. The pipe diameter was chosen out of availability. The collected light was then filtered through two 10nm full-width half-maximum narrow- bandpass filters (TFI Technologies. The light emitted from the plasma was collected radially from the FRC through two adjacent parallel aluminum pipes of diameter 0. The spectral characteristics of the specific filters is shown in Appendix D. and the filtered light was then directed through the same holder to a pair of photodiodes. the two pipes were aligned side-by-side axially along the FRC. had to be as large as possible to allow enough light to be easily observed. S1227-33BR) were chosen for their high spectral response 10 . The cross sectional viewed area needed to be small to eliminate inaccuracies that could be caused by varying plasma density radially in the FRC. Inc). The filters used were TFI 780-10 (780nm) and 610-10 (610nm) for the oxygen ratios. 4: A schematic of the experimental set up for measuring electron temperature in IFRC using spectrometer. The particular photo- diodes used (Hamamatsu Corp. on the other hand. The collection pipes were placed inside an aluminum filter holder fabricated specially for the spectrometer. These pipes were placed directly against the viewing window of the FRC chamber. For this reason also. and TFI 660-10 (660nm) and 490-10 (490 nm) for the hydrogen lines.

The LM6172 is a dual voltage feedback amplifier. 5: A schematic of the circuit used to provide a regulated reverse bias voltage to the photodi- odes. as well as their fast rise time. which was designed with the desired characteristics (high amplification.FIG. 11 . Information regarding the voltage regulating circuit is shown in Figure 5 and Table I. high signal advantages of low reverse bias. high speed advantages of high reverse bias with the low noise. The fast rise time was important to allow good temporal resolu- tion throughout the FRC discharge. produced by National Semiconductor. and the regulating circuit was constructed to provide a constant reverse bias voltage of approximately 2mV. The reverse biasing was accomplished through the use of an Analog Devices ADP667 voltage regulator. The photodiodes were reversed biased to allow operation in photo-conductive mode. The schematic for the amplifying circuit of one photodiode is shown in Figure 6 (note that although the majority of the circuit components for each amplifying circuit were separate. A desired response frequency of 1MHz then necessitated the use of an amplifier with a gain bandwidth product of approximately 100MHz. in the relevant range. which in IFRC lasts between 50 and 100 microseconds. chosen for its low noise and fast response time used was an LM6172. High spectral response was necessary to increase the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). the characteristics for which are shown in Appendix E. This voltage was chosen to balance the high linearity. The voltage regulator was powered by one of two 9V batteries in the spectrometer. Each photodiode was then connected to an amplifying circuit. or op-amp. and fast response time). which has the advantage of faster and more linear response. It was estimated that an amplifier voltage gain near 100 was necessary to provide good signal. low noise. The operational amplifier. Complete characteristics of these pho- todiodes is shown in Appendix C.

TABLE I: Voltage Regulating Circuit Characteristics Set Resistor Output Resistor Output Capacitor Measured Output Voltage Rset [Ω] Rout [Ω] Cout [µF ] Vout 473000 277400 18 1. and Rt is the terminating resistor from the inverting input to ground. Rf is the feedback resistor to the inverting input of the op-amp. Iphoto is the photo-current from the photodiode. as well as being fed back into the inverting input through a resistance of approximately 105 ohms. The inverting input of the op-amp was also terminated to ground through approximately 1000 ohms at a minimum distance. The photo-current from each photodiode was passed through a load resistor of approximately 1000 ohms. it is crucial that the relative line intensities are accurately recorded.925 the same op-amp could be used for both as it was dual channel). The actual gains were measured by driving the circuits with a known voltage and recording the output voltage. all aspects of collection for each line intensity measurement have to be calibrated against each other and taken into account. which was powered by supply voltages of ±9V by the batteries. This circuit provided a theoretical V/A gain of approximately 105 . Rl is the load resistor from the non-inverting input to ground. as well as the measured gains are shown in Table II. The output of the op-amp was then terminated to ground at 50 ohms and measured by the oscilloscope. which was terminated to ground at a minimum distance. The different 12 . This provided current to voltage conversion. The measured component characteristics. Spectrometer Calibration To accurately calculate electron temperature. and the voltage was passed directly into the non-inverting input of the op-amp. To insure this. as is shown by   Vo Rf = Rl 1 + (8) Iphoto Rt 105   = 1000 1 + ≈ 105 (9) 1000 where Vo is the final output voltage. C.

A schematic diagram of the experimental setup used to gather most of the calibration information is shown in figure 7. spectral response of the filters. and any geometric differences resulting from gathering light from two separate pipes.3 factors that had to be incorporated into the calibration were the photodiode efficiencies. TABLE II: Measured Spectrometer Circuit Characteristics Circuit A Circuit B Rl [Ω] 1041 1062 Rf [Ω] 100600 100600 Rt [Ω] 1043 1105 Rb [Ω] 9880 9860 Gainmeasured [V/A] 91439. unfiltered light reaching the diodes.18919 88978. the different levels of circuit amplification. In this setup the spectrometer was placed 10cm from a tungsten bulb. and light passed through each filter reaching the diodes. FIG. which was used because it was adequate to provide light power over the spectral regions necessary. The output voltages were then recorded for each photodiode with no light reaching the diodes.3 C3 [µ F] 18 C4 [nF] 0. 6: A schematic of the circuit used to amplify the photocurrent output from photodiodes.37838 C1 [µ F] 18 C2 [nF] 0. These values were compared to the light intensity at the 13 .

7: A schematic of the experimental setup used to measure the relative photodiode efficiencies. Model 840 Optical Power Meter at 10cm in the same scenarios. Although this method did not yield an accurate absolute efficiency. The results of the calibration tests for both the oxygen and hydrogen filter sets are shown in Appendix B. it was sufficient because only a relative measurement was necessary. Next. and the FRC was fired again. A final coefficient. This coefficient was calculated to allow the use of values from one specific spectral line using a product of the atomic transition probability and upper-energy-level statistical weight (see Appendix A): 14 . was required to account for the multiplicity of spectral lines within the transmission interval of each filter.FIG. filter transmissions. This was found by first firing the FRC with the spectrometer attached and in the standard orientation. the geometric differences resulting from gathering light from two separate pipes were measured (c2 ). central wavelength as measured by a Newport Corp. A sample of the data from which this coefficient was calculated is shown in Figure 8. circuit amplification. The spectrometer was then inverted. The geometric coefficient was then taken to be the quotients of the voltages measured in these different orientations. which was beneficial because the calculated electron temperature could depend sensitively on all of these calibration factors. This setup was used because it provided a single calibration coefficient (c1 ) that incorporated the photodiode efficiencies. c3 .

(Shots # 00242. 8: Plot of geometric coefficients (normal orientation signal / inverted orientation signal) calculated from intensities of Hα and Hβ lines. The final relative coefficients for both the oxygen and hydrogen ratios are shown in Table III. and allows the use of spectral line characteristics from specific spectral lines.FIG. The relevant spectral line characteristics are shown in Table IV D. the electron temperature can be calculated by multiplying equa- tion (4) by the calibration coefficients: 15 . 00243) Itot = I1 + I2 + · · · + In (10)   g2 A2 gn An ≈ I1 1 + + ··· + (11) g1 A1 g1 A1 I1 ≈ Itot c3 (12) where  −1 g2 A2 gn An c3 = 1+ + ··· + (13) g1 A1 g1 A1 c3 accounts for the multiplicity of spectral lines within the transmission interval of each filter. The lines chosen were those with the greatest product of transition probability and statistical weight. Spectral Line Ratio Measurements Using this information.

414 0. The thermal noise is associated with the shunt resistance of the photodiode.525 Hydrogen 660nm 1.818 7620000 9 12. and is the same as 16 . its SNR must be as high as possible.900 TABLE IV: Relevant Oxygen and Hydrogen Spectral Line Characterisitcs Spectral Line λ [A] Aki [s−1 ] gk Ek [eV] Oxygen 780nm 777. Noise Reduction To obtain usable data from the spectrometer.741 615nm 615.087 490nm 486. There are two main types of noise inherent in the operation of a photodiode: thermal noise (or Johnson noise) and shot noise.467 64650000 6 12. The first aspect to be considered is photodiode noise. (14) ln IIk1i1 k2i2 C α where C is the ratio of calibration coefficients: c11 c12 c13 C= (15) c21 c22 c23 E.414 0.812 490nm 1 1.269 20620000 6 12.749 − (Ek1 − Ek2 ) kTe = h  i .720 1 0.194 36900000 7 10.467 615nm 1 1.754 Hydrogen 660nm 656. TABLE III: Relative Oxygen and Hydrogen Line Coefficients Spectral Line Calibration Coefficient Geometric Coefficient Multiplicity Coefficient Oxygen 780nm 1.118 1 0.

approximately 20 feet. This noise is first reduced by the use of batteries to provide DC power. Finally. which consists wholly of twisted pairs. An example of this noise is shown in Figure 9. This is again reduced by limiting the operating temperature. large aluminum plates were placed axially around the spectrometer for further shielding. there is thermal noise associated with the op-amp and circuit resistors. Finally. large amounts of coupled noise were still seen as ringing in the signal. this noise becomes amplified to the same degree as the signal. the entire spectrometer was enclosed in an aluminum box to provide a degree of shielding from external EM noise. in which all FRC driving coils were fired. Upon firing IFRC however. noise in op-amp supply voltage can affect the degree of amplification of the signal. while maintaining the maximum possible shunt resistance [15]. Further EM noise from the driving coils was reduced by using CAT-5 cable. Next. First. These are reduced by limiting the operating temperature and reverse voltage bias on the photodiode. All of these methods are implemented in the IFRC spectrometer. Implementing these measures reduced the noise considerably. When coupled to the input or feedback loops of the op-amp. as can be seen in Figure 10 17 . and capacitors grounded at a minimum distance from the op-amp supply pins. For this reason. This was reduced by moving the oscilloscope to the maximum achievable distance from the crowbars. using the smallest components available. The first step in reducing external EM coupling is to reduce the size of all closed loops inside the circuit as much as possible. and connecting and terminating all components at a minimum distance. but no plasma was injected into the system. and is the result of statistical fluctuations in photocurrent and darkcurrent. as the output cable from the spectrometer. This was also done with the IDE spectrometer. external electromag- netic (EM) noise can be coupled into the amplifying circuit. This is accomplished by running any necessary wires in twisted pairs.that present in all resistors. The shot noise is more specific to photodiodes. This noise is then also rejected to some degree by the op-amp itself. The other main types of noise inherent in the spectrometer result from the signal amplifi- cation circuit. It can be further reduced by the use of voltage regulators on the input voltage. This was found to be mainly the result of EM noise coupling to the output of the spectrometer from the crowbar circuits used to limit the output voltage of the driving coils. Next. it is of the utmost importance to reduce this last noise as much as possible.

The data recorded by the oscilloscope was then sent to a computer which compiled it along with other data taken according to a computer program written by Alan Van Drie. (Shot # 00198) FIG. 9: Plots of measured voltage vs time from spectrometer with no plasma. 10: Plots of measured voltage vs time from spectrometer after noise reduction methods implemented. The data was recorded as a voltage. which was set to run in single-shot mode to avoid accidental triggering. and then analyzed automatically at each time point according to equation (14). (Shot # 00216) IV. showing coupled electromagnetic noise. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Voltages from both photodiode circuits were transmitted along the CAT-5 output cable to an oscilloscope. The data was also analyzed manually using Microsoft Excel and Matlab.FIG. A 18 . showing final coupled electromagnetic noise.

There is a possibility that the observed intensities in either of the hydrogen wavelengths could have been artificially inflated.322 = 0. giving better data.414 ∗ 1. and the 610nm filter became damaged before further testing could be done to remedy the problem. the SNR of emitted oxygen lines in IFRC was initially too low to provide provide good data regarding the evolution of the plasma electron temperature.749) = (20) ln −0. and hence the temperature made inaccurate.340 (21) Unfortunately. by the presence of carbon line in the same spectral 19 . As a result.467 = 2.269 = (18) 20620000 ∗ 6 ∗ 656.504   1. The low SNR is likely the result of the relatively low temperature of the plasma. which could again lead to low line intensities. Hydrogen atoms and ions made up the bulk of the plasma.097  −0.087 − 12.720 ∗ 1 ∗ 1.034 2.097 (17) Ak1i1 gk1 λk2i2 α = Ak2i2 gk2 λk1i1 64650000 ∗ 6 ∗ 486.322 (19) − (Ek1 − Ek2 ) kTe = h  i Ik1i1 ln Ik2i2 Cα − (12. It is also possible that the level of oxygen impurities in the plasma was less than expected. 70 µsec): c11 c12 c13 C = c21 c22 c23 1. as well as a large reduction of the line intensity as a result of the filtering.232 = (16) 1 ∗ 1.sample calculation using Hydrogen ratios for one specific time point is shown below (Shot # 00245. the SNR of the emitted hydrogen lines was much higher than that of the oxygen lines. and so contributed the bulk of the total emitted light.111 = 1.

After a slight delay.28 eV at approximately 50 µsec to a maximum of approximately 0.38 eV at approximately 90 µsec.5 µsec and lasted until approximately130 µsec. we demonstrated the use of the Hα and Hβ line ratio to calculated this temperature. Estimates indicate however. low-cost diagnostic tool. The main obstacle in constructing and implementing this spectrometer was increasing the SNR in order to obtain useful data. Examples of the data that can be acquired were shown and analyzed. Emitted light reached the photodiodes almost immediately. the overarching magnetic field begins to reverse. the temporal evolution of this temperature can be easily observed. and then decay to approximately 0. Although we were unable to use emissions from oxygen impurities in the system in my limited time. This delay is likely the result of the specific spectral lines being observed: Hα and Hβ are radiated from neutral Hydrogen atoms.range. however the SNR is too low to determine the electron temperature. the electron temperature became easily discernible at approxi- mately 50 µsec. and we presented one possible electrical and mechanical design as well as the theoretical background. the electron temperature was observed to rise from approximately 0. Upon the firing of the flux coil at approximately 35 µsec. A passive spectrometer constructed from silicon photodiodes along with amplifying circuits and narrow bandpass filters is a feasible. FRC was achieved at approximately 37. V. at which point it was already slightly energized. 20 . Figure 11 shows the results of shot # 00246. With a properly designed and constructed spectrometer as described above. we showed that the electron temperature of a low temperature FRC such as IFRC can be estimated through spectral line emissions as measured by silicon photodiodes. so they must be heated secondarily through collisional processes with free ions and electrons as opposed to being compressed or heated directly by field reversal. and becomes further energized due to the bias and mirror fields.30 eV at approximately 110 µsec before the SNR becomes to great. During FRC. Plasma was injected into the system at approximately10 µsec. that these carbon lines are lower in intensity by at least an order of magnitude. The peak and subsequent decay are likely the result of the plasma expanding as rotational or tilt instabilities began to break down the FRC [6]. CONCLUSION In this paper.

2E-6 Torr. (a) (b) (c) FIG. mirror coil voltage 1250 V.) 21 .7cm. delay 25µs. chamber pressure 1. (Shot # 00246: bias coil voltage 400 V. 44cm and axial distance from chamber end Z = 10. flux coil voltage 4900 V. (b) Hα and Hβ line intensity. 11: Plots of (a) magnetic fields at radial distance from center R = 14. delay 0µs. delay 0µs. delay 0µs. and (c) corresponding calculated plasma electron temperature vs time. plasma gun voltage 9500 V.

7 0.18 7620000 7.024091778 6046.39 36900000 5. 3 0.988792 13.753715 6156. Upper) λ [A] Aki [s−1 ] gi . 9 0.740931 7774.98 5720000 3.44 1750000 5.18 10.466666667 7774.98888 13.39 9.94 9.753715 7771. TABLE V: Relevant Oxygen Spectral Lines Wavelength Transition Probability Statistical Weights Relative Weight (Lower. 3 0.0388262 6155.13124283 6156. 3 0.1460906 10. 3 0.040152964 6046.1460906 10. 7 0.49 350000 1.753715 6158.740931 12.94 36900000 5.49 10.988861 13.17 9.740224 12. gk 6046.740224 22 .77 5080000 5.0388262 6046.1460906 10. 5 0.524512428 7771. 3 0.44 10.740475 7775.271969407 6158.333333333 7775.008030593 6155.23 1050000 3.740475 12.98 10.0388262 6046.2 TABLE VI: Oxygen Line Energies Wavelength Lower Energy Level Upper Energy Level λ [A] Ei [eV] Ek [eV] 6046.17 36900000 5.77 10.23 10.

69 10.0870511 APPENDIX A: RELEVANT SPECTRAL LINE INFORMATION APPENDIX B: PHOTODIODE CALIBRATION APPENDIX C: PHOTODIODE CHARACTERISTICS APPENDIX D: FILTER CHARACTERISTICS APPENDIX E: OPERATIONAL AMPLIFIER CHARACTERISTICS 23 . 4 0.69 10.7485394 4862. Upper) λ [A] Aki [s−1 ] gi . 4 0.1988511 12. gk 4862. 4 0. 2 0.811879945 TABLE VIII: Hydrogen Line Energies Wavelength Lower Energy Level Upper Energy Level λ [A] Ei [eV] Ek [eV] 4862.1988511 12.188120055 6564.7485375 6564.1988511 12.5 10.69 3437000 4. TABLE VII: Relevant Hydrogen Spectral Lines Wavelength Transition Probability Statistical Weights Relative Weight (Lower.6 64650000 6.6 10.899991271 4862.5 22470000 4.69 20620000 6.08705066 6564.1988101 12.100008729 6564.

Introduction to plasma physics (Institute of Physics Publish- ing. 24 . Rutherford. Irvine FRC experiment 3 kTe Electron temperature (in electron volts) 8 Ni Population density of electrons in state i 8 Op-amp Operational Amplifier 11 Rf Feedback resistor 12 Rl Load resistor 12 Rt Terminating resistor 12 SNR Signal-To-Noise Ration 11 Te Electron temperature (in Kelvin) 8 Vo Output voltage from Operational Amplifier 12 α Line Ratio Coefficient 9 β Ratio of plasma particle pressure to magnetic field pressure 3 ∆E Change in energy 7 ν Frequency 7 ω the frequency of an emitted spectral line 8 [1] R. 1995).0546 × 10−34 J s 8 i. Goldston and P. k Specific electron energy levels 7 Iik Spectral line intensity emitted by an electron decaying from level i to k 8 Iphoto Photo-current from photodiode 12 IFRC University of California. APPENDIX F: SYMBOLS c1 Relative spectrometer calibration coefficient 14 c2 Relative spectrometer geometric coefficient 14 c3 Spectral line multiplicity coefficient 14 CSS Coaxial Slow Source 3 Ei Energy of an electron in energy level i 8 EM Electromagnetic 17 FRC Field-Reversed Configuration 3 FRTP Field Reversed Theta Pinch 3 gi Statistical weight of energy level i 8 h Planck’s Constant = 6.6262 × 10−34 J s 7 ~ Planck’s Constant = 1.

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