Sorption of atmospheric gases by bulk lithium metal

C. A. Hart, C. H. Skinner, A. M. Capece, Bruce E. Koel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Lithium conditioning of plasma facing components has enhanced the performance of several fusion devices. Elemental lithium will react with air during maintenance activities and with residual gases (H2O, CO, CO2) in the vacuum vessel during operations. We have used a mass balance (microgram sensitivity) to measure the mass gain of lithium samples during exposure of a ∼1 cm2 surface to ambient and dry synthetic air. For ambient air, we found an initial mass gain of several mg/h declining to less than 1 mg/h after an hour and decreasing by an order of magnitude after 24 h. A 9 mg sample achieved a final mass gain corresponding to complete conversion to Li2CO3 after 5 days. Exposure to dry air resulted in a 30 times lower initial rate of mass gain. The results have implications for the chemical state of lithium plasma facing surfaces and for safe handling of lithium coated components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • General Materials Science
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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