Elementary chemical reactions in technical and astrophysical plasmas


UCL Promotors : Xavier Urbain

External collaborations : Jacques Lévin (ULB Brussels), Fabien Gatti (CNRS, Université de Montpellier 2, F), Vola Andrianrijaona (Pacific
Union College, USA),  Bernard Pons (CELIA, Université de Bordeaux 1, F), Luis Méndez (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, E)

Funding : IISN, ERM, IAEA


The chemistry at play in dilute gas-phase environments is controlled by binary collisional processes involving charged species, and the radicals produced by them.

The astrophysical and thermonuclear fusion plasmas share the same elemental composition, namely hydrogen and its isotopes, and helium : Atomic Carbon (possibly released from reactor walls) reacts with hydrogen ions to form light hydrocarbons entering the chemical network.

Reactions between the hydrogen anion and neutral and ionic species (from hydrogen to oxygen), and the structure and dynamics of hydrogen, hydro-helium and helium molecular cations, constitute the core of our investigations.

These experimental studies, performed with fast beams and coincidence detection techniques, are conducted in the framework of the IAEA atomic and molecular database initiative.