Anupama Khan, 2012, Chemistry

According to a 2007 report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, up to 95% of energy reductions through 2100 will be made after 2030. In the long run, nuclear fusion technology is poised to become a major player in the ­global ­energy market. During my internship, I worked with Professor Robert Goldston at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, and Professor Steven Bernasek in the Chemistry ­Department, to study the effectiveness of lithium as a plasma-facing component in fusion reactors. In an on-going study using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), I mapped damage caused by high energy neutral beam bombardment on porous molybdenum substrates before and after lithiumization. I also developed a second set of experiments using ­X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) to investigate the interactions between boron, ­lithium, and plasma contaminants because boron pre-conditioning has been shown to improve plasma performance in some reactors. I plan to continue these experiments for my senior thesis.