DIY Beam-on-Target Fusion Particle Accelerator

An interactive particle accelerator which utilizes a inductively coupled RF ion source for beam-on-target fusion research.

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The objective of this project is to build and document a simple beam on target neutron source. Once finished, the source will be interactive through a web based interface so anyone can see video and instrumentation data in real-time while experiments are conducted.

The project mainly consists of a few smaller sub-projects:

-Deuterium Gas System

-RF Ion Source

-Electronic Controls

To ensure safe and stable operation of the accelerator sever electronically actuated valves and pumps will be used to control things such as gas flow into the ion source, and cooling fluid to the titanium target (primarily to reduce secondary emissions) 

-Vacuum System

For a particle accelerator to work properly, vacuum levels on the same order as those in deep space much be achieved and maintained within a discrete chamber. This involves high precision machined flanges and several stages of vacuum pumps

  • 1 × Oil diffusion pump Creates very high vacuum
  • 1 × 2.75" 5-way conflat cross Serves as the main vacuum chamber
  • 1 × Liquid cooled Ti target
  • 1 × 50KeV Hipotronics Power Supply Holds the target at high negative potential
  • 1 × Deuterium Gas Management System

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  • First Beam!

    charlesdramey08/19/2014 at 15:31 0 comments

    This weekend I constructed a prototype magnetron ion source, and then used the ion source coupled with a prototype target to generate a low energy beam line.

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Dennis Feucht wrote 11/03/2023 at 05:00 point

I built a vacuum system at Tektronix long ago that had an oil diffusion pump. If the cryogenic fluid that cools the pump ever gives out, oil is distributed throughout the vacuum system. What a mess to tear apart and clean! If you can find a multistage turbopump instead, you'll save yourself some grief. An oil diffusion pump will achieve 10^-9 torr, which is adequate for electron beams. It was for us at Tek on a project to test connectivity on hybrid circuit substrates.

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kathyminx wrote 05/10/2014 at 19:28 point
Niice job you! My weight in physics was nuclear and I operated the school's 3MeV accelerator. I actually tried to make one for a H.S. project but everything was from scratch and no budget. Parts were successful. I can so enjoy this vicariously.

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charlesdramey wrote 04/30/2014 at 17:27 point
MITERS has a particle accelerator now? That is so rad.

A fee years back when I was piecing together the vacuum system for my fusor, I bought a ton used oil diffusion pumps off of eBay. If you know what to look for you can easily buy cheap ones with minor wear and tear which can be easily repaired.

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Eric Evenchick wrote 04/30/2014 at 05:35 point
I got to play around with one of these at MITERS. Where did you get the vacuum pump from? Those diffusion ones can be pricey, and the old ones can be filled with mercury.

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J Groff wrote 08/26/2014 at 21:09 point
you need a mercury diffusion pump to achieve high vacuum. Oil diffusion wont get you all the way there

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