Deuterium retention in Sn-filled samples exposed to fusion-relevant flux plasmas

W. Ou (Corresponding author), R. S. Al, J. W.M. Vernimmen, S. Brons, P. Rindt, T. W. Morgan

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Tin (Sn) is an attractive option for a liquid metal wall material for future fusion reactors. Control of tritium inventory is key for the successful operation of these reactors, but little data exists up until now on hydrogen isotope retention in Sn. Free surface Sn targets and Sn-based capillary porous structure targets were exposed to deuterium (D) plasma in nano-PSI and magnum-PSI respectively. The retained D inventory was determined using the methods of thermal desorption spectroscopy and nuclear reaction analysis. The retention dependence is somewhat complex due to the mixed composition of the exposed samples as well as their liquid nature. The D retained in both types of Sn targets was found to increase with increasing D plasma fluence. For free surface liquid Sn targets, both thermal desorption spectroscopy and nuclear reaction analysis measurements showed a negative relationship between D retention and sample temperature. For capillary porous structure Sn targets, D retained in the top layer measured by nuclear reaction analysis decreased with temperature while the total D retained measured by thermal desorption spectroscopy remained approximately constant. By extracting pure Sn pieces from the targets it was found that the amount of D retained in pure Sn was much lower than that in the whole Sn-based targets and was estimated to be about 10-7 -10-4 D/Sn. D retained at the Sn-wall interface was found to dominate the total amount of D retained in the whole sample and observed cavities between deposited Sn droplets and the wall are the leading candidates responsible for this. Cavity formation is proposed to be the main retention mechanism for D in liquid Sn targets, although enhanced solubility leading to supersaturation under a D plasma environment is mainly responsible for the observed higher D retention in pure Sn compared with normal solubility under D gas. When compared with tungsten, D in Sn samples is of the same order of magnitude at temperatures below 300 °C, but at higher temperatures at least one to two orders of magnitude higher, most likely due to D trapped in cavities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number026008
Number of pages16
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Capillary porous structure
  • Deuterium retention
  • Free surface
  • Tin
  • free surface
  • tin
  • deuterium retention
  • capillary porous structure


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