Helium retention and diffusivity in flowing liquid lithium

M. Nieto, D. N. Ruzic, J. P. Allain, M. D. Coventry, E. Vargas-Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The flowing liquid surface retention experiment (FLIRE) has been designed to provide fundamental data on the retention and pumping of He, H and other species in flowing liquid surfaces. The FLIRE facility currently uses an ion beam source, which injects ions into a flowing stream of liquid lithium. Its design allows the liquid lithium to flow between two vacuum chambers that become isolated from each other when the lithium flows. Flow velocities between 0.5 and 3.0 m/s down two ramps inside the upper vacuum chamber can be achieved. The ramps and lines where the liquid lithium flows are heated to temperatures ranging from 250 to 500 °C to prevent any possible freezing. A dual residual gas analyzer system monitors the partial pressure of the implanted species in both vacuum chambers. The release rate of gas atoms in the second chamber is directly related to the mechanisms of transport within the metal bulk and also the process of desorption from the surface. For the case of helium, the diffusion coefficient was calculated to be 4.5×10-3 cm2/s at 250 °C, with an uncertainty of ±2×10-3 cm2/s. Helium retention coefficients on the order of 10-4 were obtained based on the experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)646-650
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue numberSUPPL.
StatePublished - Mar 2003
EventPlasma - Surface Interactions in Controlled Fusion Devices - Gifu, Japan
Duration: May 26 2002May 31 2002


  • Diffusion
  • Divertors
  • Helium retention
  • Liquid metals
  • Plasma-wall interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • General Materials Science
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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