Major and Classification
Kaila Rajiv, PhD., Professor of Physics
Viterbi: Mechanical Engineering
Research Gateway Project
“Fusion Ion Confinement in Spherical Ion Trap”
Fusion energy has the potential to meet the growing global demand for energy and end the reliance on fossil fuels, however it has proven to be an elusive goal. Previous magnetic and inertial confinement fusion devices have failed to achieve fusion rates high enough to be viable power sources. Fortunately, there are charged particle confinement methods that have yet to be studied as potential fusion devices. This study investigates the feasibility of using a spherically shaped quadrupole ion trap to confine charged particles at fusion energy conditions. SIMION, a charged particle trajectory simulation program, was used to determine the particle density and energy of trapped particles. Experimental fusion reactivity data, NACRE II, was used with density and energy data to determine the fusion rate within the device. These results provide evidence for the use of this device as a source of fusion energy and constituted the first design iteration towards a spherically shaped quadrupole ion trap for fusion energy. In addition, it demonstrates the possibility of enhancing ion traps, traditionally used for low density ion experiments, for use as fusion energy devices.