Shaokai Tang

University Of Manchester

I am based at The University of Manchester, supervised by Dr Aneeqa Khan, Dr Ed Pickering and Prof. Paul Mummery. Before joining the Fusion CDT, I graduated from the Guangdong Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and then joined the University of Birmingham for my MRes degree. I have previously worked on polypropylene-alumina composites for energy storage and Cf-ZrB2 composites for ultra-high temperature structural applications.

My PhD project aims to develop Diamond-Tungsten composites for nuclear fusion applications. Divertor materials are exposed to high heat loads, irradiation of high-energy plasma particles and neutrons. While interacting with the surface, neutrons can also penetrate the materials, creating various defects and altering microstructure. This may lead to embrittlement and degradation. Conventionally carbon based materials, or tungsten have been used as plasma facing materials, but both have their limitations. CVD diamond is of interest because diamond has many relevant properties that are often best-in-class compared to all other materials: high strength, thermal stability and neutron resistance. However, improvements need to be made, particularly in the erosion performance of CVD diamond under certain plasma conditions, which is where tungsten coatings have a role to play.  This project will consider deposition techniques like sputtering and the use of lasers to apply tungsten coatings on CVD diamond substrates. The samples produced will then be analysed using a variety of characterisation techniques (e.g electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy). The samples can then be exposed to fusion relevant damage (e.g. ion, plasma irradiation) and the performance can be evaluated.