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Reference Number EP/D030242/1
Title Terahertz sensors for extreme environments
Status Completed
Energy Categories NUCLEAR FISSION and FUSION(Nuclear Fusion) 30%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Physics) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr MB Johnston
No email address given
Oxford Physics
University of Oxford
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 October 2005
End Date 30 September 2010
Duration 60 months
Total Grant Value £517,705
Industrial Sectors Environment
Region South East
Programme Information & Communication Technology, Materials, Mechanical and Medical Eng
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr MB Johnston , Oxford Physics, University of Oxford (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , ENEA - Ente per le Nuove tecnologie, l’Energia e l’Ambiente, Italy (0.000%)
Project Contact , Australian National University, Australia (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract There is growing evidence that our consumption of fossil fuels is degrading the environment, in particular through the effects of global warming. The UK has taken an important step towards reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions by signing the Kyoto protocol, which became legally binding in February 2005. The UK government has also set the long-term target of a 60% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. To achieve this ambitious target we need to rethink the way we generate usable forms of energy for our growing economy. One clean, long-term solution is to exploit nuclear fusion - the process that "powers" the sun. Much more research on electricity generation using fusion reactors is still required, and a key area of this research is determining the physical properties of the plasma at the core of a fusion reactor. A plasma is clearly an extremely harsh environment, so measuring its properties requires non-contact methods, typically via spectroscopy. However, the noisy environment surrounding a plasma reactor is not ideal for optical spectroscopy. The aim of this proposal is to develop a new generation of spectroscopic sensors that would be particularly well suited to fusion research. The sensors will be based on the novel method of terahertz time-domain spectroscopy. In conventional optical spectroscopy only the intensity of light may be recorded, however in time-domain spectroscopy the electric field of the light is recorded as a function oftime giving complete amplitude and phase information of the light. This additional information allows the complete dielectric function of materials to be determined directly, thus allowing many physical properties of the matter such as charge density and conductivity to extracted. This project will develop advanced materials, new terahertz devices and time domain spectroscopy systems that will be ideally suited to fusion research. The project will exploit recent advances in femtosecondfibre laser technology to make sensors that are exceptionally stable, allowing them to operate in the harsh conditions close to a plasma reactor, and extremely compact so they may reach confined locations. The developments achieved in this project will also have wider benefits to those working in fields where spectroscopy is required under conditions of high magnetic field, or extremes of temperature and pressure
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 01/01/07