Plasma diagnostics in spherical tokamaks with silicon charged-particle detectors

Rev Sci Instrum. 2016 Nov;87(11):11D805. doi: 10.1063/1.4955485.


Detection of charged fusion products, such as protons and tritons resulting from D(d, p) t reactions, can be used to determine the position and time dependent fusion reaction rate profile in spherical tokamak plasmas with neutral beam heating. We have developed a prototype instrument consisting of 6 ion-implanted-silicon surface barrier detectors combined with collimators in such a way that each detector can accept 3 MeV protons and 1 MeV tritons and thus provides a curved view across the plasma cross section. The combination of the results from all six detectors will provide information on the spatial distribution of the fusion reaction rate. The expected time resolution of about 1 ms makes it possible to study changes in the reaction rate due to slow variations in the neutral beam density profile, as well as rapid changes resulting from MHD instabilities. Details of the new instrument, its data acquisition system, simulation results, and electrical noise testing results are discussed in this paper. First experimental data are expected to be taken during the current experimental campaign at NSTX-U.