Effect of deuterium irradiation on graphite boronized in the NSTX-U tokamak

F. Bedoya, J. P. Allain, F. J. Dominguez-Gutierrez, P. S. Krstic

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Boronization has been used in the National Spherical Torus-Upgrade (NSTX-U) as first wall conditioning technique. The technique decreased the oxygen impurities in the plasma and the O% on the Plasma Facing Components (PFC) as measured with an in-vacuo probe. Samples were extracted from tiles removed from the tokamak for post-mortem and controlled studies. Ex-vessel low energy and fluence D2+ and Ar+ irradiations were characterized in-situ to elucidate surface evolution of a cored graphite sample with an intrinsic concentration of boron from a tokamak environment. In addition, quadrupole mass spectrometer measurements of emitted D-containing species during irradiation, indicate potential retention of D by the boronized graphite interface and correlated back to the surface chemistry evolution. Classical Molecular Dynamics (CMD) simulations were used to investigate the chemistry of the B-C-O-D system. The results suggest that boron coatings retain oxygen by forming oxidized boron states in the presence of deuterium plasmas and corroborate empirical findings. A four times increase in the O% of the boron coatings was observed following in-situ deuterium exposures, in contrast with a reduction of equal magnitude observed after Ar irradiations. These results illustrate the complex chemistry driven by energetic ions at the edge of tokamaks plasmas on the PFCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2435
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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