In-situ Visualization of Ion-induced Surface Erosion using a Long Distance Microscope

Chris Lambert Anirudh Thuppul Chris Dodson

The objective of this work is to provide in situ imaging of micron-scale surface structures using a long distance microscope (LDM) to study plasma-material interactions, in particular ion-induced erosion of plasma-facing materials. A CMOS camera and microscope system is used to capture live images of material erosion resulting from exposure to a magnetically confined plasma. Focus stacking images to create composite images and height maps at various time steps yields videos displaying the time-dependent erosion. Understanding plasma-material interactions will contribute to improved longevity of plasma devices in applications such as electric propulsion and fusion reactors.