Tritium concentration measurements in the Joint European Torus divertor by optical spectroscopy of a Penning discharge

D. L. Hillis*, P. D. Morgan, J. K. Ehrenberg, M. Groth, M. F. Stamp, M. Von Hellermann, V. Kumar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Obtaining precision measurements of the relative concentrations of hydrogen, deuterium, tritium, and helium in the divertor of a tokamak is an important task for nuclear fusion research. Control of the deuterium-tritium isotopic ratio while limiting the helium ash content in a fusion plasma are key factors for optimizing the fuel burn in a fusion reactor, like the International Tokamak Experimental Reactor. A diagnostic technique has been developed to measure the deuterium-tritium isotopic ratio in the divertor of the Joint European Torus with a species-selective Penning vacuum gauge. The Penning discharge provides a source of electrons to excite the neutral hydrogen isotopes in the pumping duct. Subsequently, the visible light from the hydrogen isotopes is collected in an optical fiber bundle, transferred away from the tokamak into a low radiation background area, and analyzed in a high resolution Czerny-Turner spectrometer, which is equipped with a fast charge coupled device camera for optical detection. The intensity of the observed line emission (D α-6561.03 Å and T α- 6560.44 Å) is directly proportional to the partial pressure of each gas found in the divertor. The line intensity of each isotope is calibrated as a function of pressure. The ratio of the line intensities thus provides a direct measurement of the deuterium-tritium isotopic ratio. The lower limit for the determination of the deuterium-tritium isotopic ratio is about 0.5%. The applicable pressure range for this system is from 10 -5 to a few times 10 -3 mbar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-362
Number of pages4
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number1 II
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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