Posted on: 16th December 2015
##16 A diamond window
Wendelstein 7-X takes microwave heating to a completely different level. The experiments in Wendelstein use microwave tubes known as gyrotrons to generate 1 million watts over a period of 30 minutes. These microwave tubes were manufactured through the collaborative venture between Thales Electron Device (TED), Element Six, Diamond Materials and Reuter Technologie and the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology and the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics played pivotal roles in the development of this technology.
The technology uses diamonds that functions as the window between the microwave tube of the gyrotron and the fusion reactor. The ultra-pure diamond discs are perfectly suited for use in this critical component due to their excellent transmission capacity, high thermal conductivity and mechanical strength. Improvements in the concept have opened up new ways for manufacturing high-power microwave tubes required in communications technology, materials technology, and other fusion devices such as ITER.
The complexity and the multidisciplinary nature of fusion research produced number of spin-offs that have found applications in industry, other scientific disciplines, and technological advances. The areas that have benefited from fusion research span a variety of fields ranging from medicine and material science to computing and astrophysics.
EUROfusion has identified some of these spin-offs, looked at fusion research aspects that have the potential for short-term benefits, and prepared a non-exhaustive list of fusion spin-offs which demonstrate the short-term benefits of fusion research on the way to fusion electricity.