Dave Singh ’24


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Project Title

Calibrating the Charge-exchange Ion Energy Analyzer for the PFRC-2

Presentation Link

View Dave's Presentation

Certificate(s): Applications of Computing, Engineering Physics, Robotics and Intelligent Systems

I helped calibrate the charge-exchange stripping-cell ion energy analyzer (SC-IEA) designed for the Princeton Field Reverse Configuration 2 (PFRC-2) plasma device. Plasma diagnostics that measure the energy distribution of confined ions enable a better understanding of the working principles of the PFRC-2. However, since ions experience forces during their exit from the plasma, they lose crucial information of their original state. The SC-IEA foregoes this problem by first neutralizing ions and then analyzing the energy of these neutrals. To calibrate SC-IEA, each component must be individually tested to ensure every step of the diagnostic is well understood. I employed image analysis to measure the profile of the curved-plate energy analyzer and created a computer-aided design model to micron-level accuracy. Then, I applied the finite element method to simulate the electrostatic field and programmed a single particle simulation for the path of ions through the energy analyzer. After automating the code to sweep the possible ion energies, I compiled predictions for the output of the energy analyzer. Experimentally, I used a calibrated ion gun to test sample input conditions for the SC-IEA. The unique experience provided me with practical insights into how physics research and engineering projects complement each other.

Internship Year


Project Category

Innovation and a New Energy Future


Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory - Princeton, New Jersey


Samuel Cohen, Director, Program in Plasma Science and Technology, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory