Beryllium Anodes Arrive, Cathode Due in FebruaryOctober 31, 2016
Right on schedule, Rev Manufacturing delivered from California two new beryllium anodes to LPPFusion at the beginning of September. The anodes are carefully sealed (see Fig.3) and will remain so until we are ready to use them. Beryllium is vulnerable to reactions with humid air, so we will minimize both humidity and the time the anodes are exposed. Once we receive the beryllium cathode from Hardric Lab in February, we will use the 10-cm beryllium anode to assemble our first electrodes with no heavy metals, and thus no heavy metal impurities. With only four electric charges each, the beryllium ions will have almost no impact on the plasma, so these electrodes will allow a complete test of the basic hypothesis that impurities have limited fusion yield in the plasma focus device.
We expect that we will probably be able to do the nitrogen-mix experiments using the beryllium electrodes. From experiments in tokamaks, it appears that beryllium nitride, which is a high-temperature material, does not increase beryllium erosion, but we will be looking into this more thoroughly over the coming months. Mixes of nitrogen and deuterium will allow us to study mixed ions before our crucial experiments with hydrogen-boron fuel later next year.
The second, 7-cm anode will be used in later experiments to further increase peak current and plasma density. With these electrodes in place we also expect to upgrade the connections between the switches and the electrodes for additional increases in current. Thanks to volunteer Sergey Sukhotskiy in Kazakhstan and contractor Lalit Marepalli in nearby New York City we expect to have the COMSOL simulations we need soon. To validate the simulations we will be using a spare capacitor to set up a mini-plasma-focus test bed early next year.