Electronic Thesis/Dissertation


Modeling and Simulation of Ablation-Controlled Plasmas Open Access

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Ablation and plasma formation in high energy laser target interactions and arc discharges are studied numerically. Each of the two processes is modeled separately due to the type of energy source and the resulting flow eld. Ablation of the target material and plasma formation are coupled to obtain evaporation rate, temperature distribution, velocity eld, and species concentration self-consistently. Laser ablation is studied in the perspective of directed energy applications, where beam size varies from few centimeters to tens of centimeters with energies extending up to 10 kW/cm2. Because of this high energy deposition, the evaporated material expands to supersonic speeds into the free space. Due to the large spot sizes and associated supersonic flow, one dimensional Euler equations are considered to be sufficient for modeling the plume. Instead, more emphasis was given to evaporation model, by introducing Knudsen layer kinetics at the plume target interface, and plasma shielding. The evaporation rate is validated with results from the experiments and simulations are carried out to nd the in fluence of laser beam frequency on evaporation rates. The evaporation model used in this work is found to be more accurate than the widely used model based on sonic speed assumption. The optimum beam wavelength for Al surfaces is found to be 850 nm. Attenuation of telemetry data by plasma is a concern for the testing of directed energy systems. Electrostatic approach for the mitigation of communication attenuation is analyzed to obtain the fluency limits up to which the approach can be implemented. It is found from sheath calculations that uninterrupted telemetry can be achieved through Al plasma for fluences below 4 J/cm2 at a background pressure of 1 atm, using a maximum bias voltage of 10 kV . Arc discharge ablation is modeled for the synthesis of nanoparticles. The electric arc generated between the electrodes, placed inside a Helium chamber, evaporates the catalyst-lled carbon anode to form a web of nanoparticles. Conservative form of Navier-Stokes equations along with energy equation and species transport are solved in cylindrical coordinates using SIMPLER algorithm. Current continuity in electric potential form is solved to obtain the potential distribution. Current is then calculated from the potential, and from axial current, magnetic eld is obtained using Ampere's law. Anode sublimation rate and current voltage characteristics are compared with experiments for arc currents varying from 10 to 100 A. Nanoparticle formation is estimated using homogeneous nucleation and surface diusion models. For an arc current of 60 A and inter-electrode gap of 4 mm with 68 Pa, the diameter of Nickel cluster is found to be 9.2 nm, which agrees with the upper limit of TEM measurements. The length of single walled nanotube is found to be 3.5 μ m for this case. Parametric studies carried out by varying arc current, background pressure, and electrode gap showed moderate in uence on the growth rate. Hot chamber arc discharge method, proposed in this work, is found to be promising to maximize the growth of nanoparticles.

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