Neutralisation and transport of negative ion beams: Physics and diagnostics

G. Serianni, P. Agostinetti, M. Agostini, V. Antoni, D. Aprile, C. Baltador, M. Barbisan, M. Brombin, M. Cavenago, G. Chitarin, M Dalla Palma, R. Delogu, F. Fellin, N. Fonnesu, N. Marconato, R. Pasqualotto, A. Pimazzoni, E. Sartori, S. Spagnolo, M. SpolaoreP. Veltri, B. Zaniol, M. Zaupa

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Neutral beam injection is one of the most important methods of plasma heating in thermonuclear fusion experiments, allowing the attainment of fusion conditions as well as driving the plasma current. Neutral beams are generally produced by electrostatically accelerating ions, which are neutralised before injection into the magnetised plasma. At the particle energy required for the most advanced thermonuclear devices and particularly for ITER, neutralisation of positive ions is very inefficient so that negative ions are used. The present paper is devoted to the description of the phenomena occurring when a high-power multi-ampere negative ion beam travels from the beam source towards the plasma. Simulation of the trajectory of the beam and of its features requires various numerical codes, which must take into account all relevant phenomena. The leitmotiv is represented by the interaction of the beam with the background gas. The main outcome is the partial neutralisation of the beam particles, but ionisation of the background gas also occurs, with several physical and technological consequences. Diagnostic methods capable of investigating the beam properties and of assessing the relevance of the various phenomena will be discussed. Examples will be given regarding the measurements collected in the small flexible NIO1 source and regarding the expected results of the prototype of the neutral beam injectors for ITER. The tight connection between measurements and simulations in view of the operation of the beam is highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Article number045003
Pages (from-to)-
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Serianni, G., Agostinetti, P., Agostini, M., Antoni, V., Aprile, D., Baltador, C., Barbisan, M., Brombin, M., Cavenago, M., Chitarin, G., Palma, M. D., Delogu, R., Fellin, F., Fonnesu, N., Marconato, N., Pasqualotto, R., Pimazzoni, A., Sartori, E., Spagnolo, S., ... Zaupa, M. (2017). Neutralisation and transport of negative ion beams: Physics and diagnostics. New Journal of Physics, 19(4), -. [045003].