Patrick McCarthy

University Of Liverpool

Hello there! My name is Patrick and I am embarking on a PhD at the University of Liverpool under the supervision of Professor James Bradley. I studied at the University of Liverpool during my MPhys qualification and they liked me so much they invited me back for more.

The project I am working on is titled “Production and Testing of fuzzy tungsten relevant to fusion research” and is a project which follows on from a successful study undertaken at Liverpool by a previous Fusion doctoral student. I will be using low-pressure and low-temperature plasma technology to fabricate fuzzy materials, namely tungsten, but also trying my hand at other materials such as iron and molybdenum, and then completing analysis of their properties using a suite of surface analytical tools. The fuzzy materials will be made using a range of helium ion bombarding parameters (fluencies and energies) at different surface temperatures. The plasmas will be diagnosed using a suite of instruments and tools, including Langmuir probes, energy analysers, mass spectrometry, and optical emission spectroscopy etc. The materials will be compared to those grown in tokamaks and linear plasma-materials testing devices. Eventually, I will attempt to oxide the materials in-situ in the plasmas to produce materials with industrial relevance for water splitting, and as we’re all aware water splitting is useful for the conversion of solar energy to hydrogen which is one of the most interesting ways to achieve clean and renewable energy.