Engineering an IEC Fusion Device

Ouyang Du


Nuclear fusion occurs when two atomic nuclei hit each other with enough energy that they combine. To overcome the repellent force atomic nuclei, have on each other inertial electrostatic confinement (IEC) fusion devices accelerate ionized gas particles towards the center of a fusion chamber by producing a strong electric field (E-field). The E-field is created by supplying a strong negative charge to a spherical grid-like cathode in the center of the reaction chamber. This field accelerate the positively charged nuclei towards the center, where the atoms can speed past the large gaps in the cathode grid and collide with each other to create fusion.

Our goal is to produce a safe IEC reactor with the capability of maintaining deuterium fusion (deuterium being an isotope of hydrogen with a proton and neutron within its nucleus).

This summer we were able to connect our IEC reactor with Daq-factory and Lab-jack allowing for the capability to control the reactor with a computer. Additionally lead and water shielding were added to the outside of the IEC reactor to provide sufficient radiation shielding.