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Measurement of Total Condensation on a Shrouded Cryogenic Surface Using a Single Quartz Crystal Microbalance

B. J. Haid, T. N. Malsbury, C. R. Gibson, C. T. Warren

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 55 / Number 3 / April 2009 / Pages 276-282


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A single quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) is cooled to 18 K to measure condensation rates inside of a retractable shroud enclosure. The shroud is designed to minimize condensate on fusion targets to be fielded at the National Ignition Facility (NIF). The shroud has a double-walled construction with an inner wall that may be cooled to 75 to 100 K.

The QCM and the shroud system were mounted in a vacuum chamber and cooled using a cryocooler. Condensation rates were measured at various vacuum levels and compositions and with the shroud open or closed. A technique for measuring total condensate during the cooldown of the system with an accuracy of >1 × 10-6 g/cm2 was also demonstrated. The technique involves a separate measurement of the condensate-free crystal frequency as a function of temperature that is compared to the measurement for the cooldown trend of interest. The shroud significantly reduces the condensation rates of all gases and effectively eliminates H2O condensation.

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