Volume 86, Issue 3, March 2015
Index of content:
- Optics; Atoms and Molecules; Spectroscopy; Photon Detectors
86(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4911406View Description Hide Description
An exchange system is presented, which allows ultrafast experiments with high excitation rates (1 kHz) on samples with reaction cycles in the range of a few seconds and small sample volumes of about 0.3 ml. The exchange is accomplished using a commercially available cuvette by the combination of a special type of magnetic stirring with transverse translational motion of the sample cuvette.
86(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913656View Description Hide Description
The Extreme Environment Diffractometer (EXED) is a new neutron time-of-flight instrument at the BER II research reactor at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Germany. Although EXED is a special-purpose instrument, its early construction made it available for users as a general-purpose diffractometer. In this respect, EXED became one of the rare examples, where the performance of a time-of-flight diffractometer at a continuous source can be characterized. In this paper, we report on the design and performance of EXED with an emphasis on the unique instrument capabilities. The latter comprise variable wavelength resolution and wavelength band, control of the incoming beam divergence, the possibility to change the angular positions of detectors and their distance to the sample, and use of event recording and offline histogramming. These features combined make EXED easily tunable to the requirements of a particular problem, from conventional diffraction to small angle neutron scattering. The instrument performance is demonstrated by several reference measurements and user experiments.
Switchable Q-switched and modelocked operation in ytterbium doped fiber laser under all-normal-dispersion configuration86(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913749View Description Hide Description
We have constructed an Yb-doped fiber laser in all-normal-dispersion configuration which can be independently operated in Q-switched or modelocked configuration with the help of a simple fiber optic ring resonator (FORR). In the presence of FORR, the laser operates in Q-switched mode producing stable pulses in the range of 1 μs-200 ns with repetition rate in the range of 45 kHz-82 kHz. On the other hand, the laser can be easily switched to mode-locked operation by disjoining the FORR loop producing train of ultrashort pulses of ∼5 ps duration (compressible to ∼150 fs) at ∼38 MHz repetition rate. The transmission characteristics of FORR in combination with the nonlinear polarization rotation for passive Q-switching operation is numerically investigated and experimentally verified. The laser can serve as a versatile seed source for power amplifier which can be easily configured for application in the fields that require different pulsed fiber lasers.
- Particle Sources, Optics and Acceleration; Particle Detectors
86(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913655View Description Hide Description
A 2-D electron energy analyzer is designed and constructed to measure the transverse and longitudinal energy distribution of low energy (<1 eV) electrons. The analyzer operates on the principle of adiabatic invariance and motion of low energy electrons in a strong longitudinal magnetic field. The operation of the analyzer is studied in detail and a design to optimize the energy resolution, signal to noise ratio, and physical size is presented. An energy resolution better than 6 meV has been demonstrated. Such an analyzer is a powerful tool to study the process of photoemission which limits the beam quality in modern accelerators.
86(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4909536View Description Hide Description
Proton radiography is a useful diagnostic of high energy density (HED) plasmas under active theoretical and experimental development. In this paper, we describe a new simulation tool that interacts realistic laser-driven point-like proton sources with three dimensional electromagnetic fields of arbitrary strength and structure and synthesizes the associated high resolution proton radiograph. The present tool’s numerical approach captures all relevant physics effects, including effects related to the formation of caustics. Electromagnetic fields can be imported from particle-in-cell or hydrodynamic codes in a streamlined fashion, and a library of electromagnetic field “primitives” is also provided. This latter capability allows users to add a primitive, modify the field strength, rotate a primitive, and so on, while quickly generating a high resolution radiograph at each step. In this way, our tool enables the user to deconstruct features in a radiograph and interpret them in connection to specific underlying electromagnetic field elements. We show an example application of the tool in connection to experimental observations of the Weibel instability in counterstreaming plasmas, using ∼108 particles generated from a realistic laser-driven point-like proton source, imaging fields which cover volumes of ∼10 mm3. Insights derived from this application show that the tool can support understanding of HED plasmas.
- Nuclear Physics, Fusion and Plasmas
86(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913906View Description Hide Description
The CR-39 nuclear track detector is used in many nuclear diagnostics fielded at inertial confinement fusion (ICF) facilities. Large x-ray fluences generated by ICF experiments may impact the CR-39 response to incident charged particles. To determine the impact of x-ray exposure on the CR-39 response to alpha particles, a thick-target bremsstrahlung x-ray generator was used to expose CR-39 to various doses of 8 keV Cu-K α and K β x-rays. The CR-39 detectors were then exposed to 1–5.5 MeV alphas from an Am-241 source. The regions of the CR-39 exposed to x-rays showed a smaller track diameter than those not exposed to x-rays: for example, a dose of 3.0 ± 0.1 Gy causes a decrease of (19 ± 2)% in the track diameter of a 5.5 MeV alpha particle, while a dose of 60.0 ± 1.3 Gy results in a decrease of (45 ± 5)% in the track diameter. The reduced track diameters were found to be predominantly caused by a comparable reduction in the bulk etch rate of the CR-39 with x-ray dose. A residual effect depending on alpha particle energy is characterized using an empirical formula.
- Microscopy and Imaging
86(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913271View Description Hide Description
We present the design and construction of a versatile, open frame inverted microscope system for wide-field fluorescence and single molecule imaging. The microscope chassis and modular design allow for customization, expansion, and experimental flexibility. We present two components which are included with the microscope which extend its basic capabilities and together create a powerful microscopy system: A Convex Lens-induced Confinement device provides the system with single-molecule imaging capabilities, and a two-color imaging system provides the option of imaging multiple molecular species simultaneously. The flexibility of the open-framed chassis combined with accessible single-molecule, multi-species imaging technology supports a wide range of new measurements in the health, nanotechnology, and materials science research sectors.
- Condensed Matter; Materials
Optoelectronic transport properties in amorphous/crystalline silicon solar cell heterojunctions measured by frequency-domain photocarrier radiometry: Multi-parameter measurement reliability and precision studies86(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913659View Description Hide Description
A theoretical one-dimensional two-layer linear photocarrier radiometry (PCR) model including the presence of effective interface carrier traps was used to evaluate the transport parameters of p-type hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) and n-type crystalline silicon (c-Si) passivated by an intrinsic hydrogenated amorphous silicon (i-layer) nanolayer. Several crystalline Si heterojunction structures were examined to investigate the influence of the i-layer thickness and the doping concentration of the a-Si:H layer. The experimental data of a series of heterojunction structures with intrinsic thin layers were fitted to PCR theory to gain insight into the transport properties of these devices. The quantitative multi-parameter results were studied with regard to measurement reliability (uniqueness) and precision using two independent computational best-fit programs. The considerable influence on the transport properties of the entire structure of two key parameters that can limit the performance of amorphous thin film solar cells, namely, the doping concentration of the a-Si:H layer and the i-layer thickness was demonstrated. It was shown that PCR can be applied to the non-destructive characterization of a-Si:H/c-Si heterojunction solar cells yielding reliable measurements of the key parameters.
Cantilever stress measurements for pulsed laser deposition of perovskite oxides at 1000 K in an oxygen partial pressure of 10−4 millibars86(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913946View Description Hide Description
An in situ stress measurement setup using an optical 2-beam curvature technique is described which is compatible with the stringent growth conditions of pulsed laser deposition (PLD) of perovskite oxides, which involves high substrate temperatures of 1000 K and oxygen partial pressures of up to 1 × 10−4 millibars. The stress measurements are complemented by medium energy electron diffraction (MEED), Auger electron spectroscopy, and additional growth rate monitoring by a quartz microbalance. A shielded filament is used to allow for simultaneous stress and MEED measurements at high substrate temperatures. A computer-controlled mirror scans an excimer laser beam over a stationary PLD target. This avoids mechanical noise originating from rotating PLD targets, and the setup does not suffer from limited lifetime issues of ultra high vacuum (UHV) rotary feedthroughs.
- Gravity; Geophysics; Astronomy and Astrophysics
86(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913660View Description Hide Description
This article introduces a development of pulsed neutron uranium logging instrument. By analyzing the temporal distribution of epithermal neutrons generated from the thermal fission of 235U, we propose a new method with a uranium-bearing index to calculate the uranium content in the formation. An instrument employing a D-T neutron generator and two epithermal neutron detectors has been developed. The logging response is studied using Monte Carlo simulation and experiments in calibration wells. The simulation and experimental results show that the uranium-bearing index is linearly correlated with the uranium content, and the porosity and thermal neutron lifetime of the formation can be acquired simultaneously.
- Electronics; Electromagnetic Technology; Microwaves
86(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4908173View Description Hide Description
Electromagnets that can produce strong rotating magnetic fields at kHz frequencies are potentially very useful to exert rotating force on magnetic nanoparticles as small as few nanometers in size. In this article, the construction of a pulsed high-voltage rotating electromagnet is demonstrated based on a nested Helmholtz coil design. The energy for the coils is provided by two high-voltage discharge capacitors. The triggered spark gaps used in the experiments show sufficient accuracy to achieve the high frequency rotating magnetic field. The measured strength of the rotating magnetic field is 200 mT. This magnetic field is scalable by increasing the number of turns on the coils, by reducing the dimensions of the coils and by increasing the discharge current/voltage of the capacitors.
86(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913903View Description Hide Description
This paper presents the design and operation characteristics of a solid-state high voltage pulse generator. Its primary utilization is aimed at triggering a gaseous spark gap with high repeatability. Specifically, the trigger generator is designed to achieve a risetime on the order of 0.1 kV/ns to trigger the first stage, trigatron spark gap of a 10-stage, 500 kV Marx generator. The major design components are comprised of a 60 W constant current DC-DC converter for high voltage charging, a single 4 kV thyristor, a step-up pulse transformer, and magnetic switch for pulse steepening. A risetime of <30 ns and pulse magnitude of 4 kV is achieved matching the simulated performance of the design.
- General Instruments
Design of a four-degree-of-freedom nano positioner utilizing electromagnetic actuators and flexure mechanisms86(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4908128View Description Hide Description
Positioning devices are widely used in industrial applications. High precision is a key performance of the positioner and recently high precision positioners for advanced applications are required to satisfy other performances such as larger motion range, nanometer level precision, and multiple degree-of-freedom (DOF) motion within compact size. We propose a new 4-DOF high-precision positioner employing voice coil motors and flexure guides. Millimeter motion range and nano level resolution were achieved simultaneously, utilizing the frictionless characteristic of the voice coil motors and the flexures. The mathematical model describing static and dynamic behaviors of the positioner was developed and the design parameters were optimized to achieve the best performances. The proposed positioner was manufactured with the size of 180 × 180 × 30.7 mm3 which was very compact. The experiment of feedback control showed the motion range more than 1.80 × 1.80 mm2 in-plane and 0.3 mm vertically and the minimum resolution of 10 nm in-plane and 14 nm vertically.
Tetrafluoroethane (R134a) hydrate formation within variable volume reactor accompanied by evaporation and condensation86(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913650View Description Hide Description
Vast size hydrate formation reactors with fast conversion rate are required for the economic implementation of seawater desalination utilizing gas hydrate technology. The commercial target production rate is order of thousand tons of potable water per day per train. Various heat and mass transfer enhancement schemes including agitation, spraying, and bubbling have been examined to maximize the production capacities in scaled up design of hydrate formation reactors. The present experimental study focused on acquiring basic knowledge needed to design variable volume reactors to produce tetrafluoroethane hydrate slurry. Test vessel was composed of main cavity with fixed volume of 140 ml and auxiliary cavity with variable volume of 0 ∼ 64 ml. Temperatures at multiple locations within vessel and pressure were monitored while visual access was made through front window. Alternating evaporation and condensation induced by cyclic volume change provided agitation due to density differences among water and vapor, liquid and hydrate R134a as well as extended interface area, which improved hydrate formation kinetics coupled with latent heat release and absorption. Influences of coolant temperature, piston stroke/speed, and volume change period on hydrate formation kinetics were investigated. Suggestions of reactor design improvement for future experimental study are also made.
A fluorescence XAFS measurement instrument in the soft x-ray region toward observation under operando conditions86(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913653View Description Hide Description
X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) measurements are widely used for the analysis of electronic structure. Generally, XAFS in the soft X-ray region is measured under vacuum, but chemical structures under vacuum are typically different from those under operando conditions, where chemical species exhibit their function. Here, we developed an XAFS measurement instrument, as a step toward operando fluorescent, which yields XAFS measurement using synchrotron radiation in the soft X-ray region. We applied this method to analyze the local electronic structure of the sulfur atoms in L-cysteine in different pH solutions. In water at pH 7, the hydrogen atom does not dissociate from the thiol (-SH) group in L-cysteine, which forms a structure surrounded by and interacting with water molecules. The XAFS spectrum of L-cysteine in solution was altered by changing the pH. At pH 9, the hydrogen atom dissociated and a thiolate anion was formed. Although the -SH group was oxidized to SO4 2− when L-cysteine was adsorbed on a metal surface and dried, no oxidation was observed in solution. This may be because the water molecules were densely packed and protected the -SH group from oxidation. Our results show that this instrument aimed toward operando fluorescence XAFS measurements in the soft X-ray region is useful for structural analysis of sulfur atoms in organic molecules in air and in solution. The instrument will be applied to the structural analysis of materials containing elements that have absorption edges in soft X-ray region, such as phosphorus and alkali metals (potassium and cesium). It will be also particularly useful for the analysis of samples that are difficult to handle under vacuum and materials that have specific functions in solution.