Lithium-coated high-Z substrates are planned for use in the NSTX-U divertor and are a candidate plasma facing component (PFC) for reactors, but it remains necessary to characterize the gross Li erosion rate under high plasma fluxes (>1023 m-2 s-1), typical for the divertor region. In this work, a realistic model for the compositional evolution of a Li/D layer is developed that incorporates first principles molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of D diffusion in liquid Li. Predictions of Li erosion from a mixed Li/D material are also developed that include formation of lithium deuteride (LiD). The erosion rate of Li from LiD is predicted to be significantly lower than from pure Li. This prediction is tested in the Magnum-PSI linear plasma device at ion fluxes of 1023-1024 m-2 s-1 and Li surface temperatures 800 C. Li/LiD coatings ranging in thickness from 0.2 to 500 μm are studied. The dynamic D/Li concentrations are inferred via diffusion simulations. The pure Li erosion rate remains greater than Langmuir Law evaporation, as expected. For mixed-material Li/LiD surfaces, the erosion rates are reduced, in good agreement with modelling in almost all cases. These results imply that the temperature limit for a Li-coated PFC may be significantly higher than previously imagined.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics
- deuterium retention
- ion implantation
- liquid metals
- lithium sputtering