Luxherta Buzi. Picutre: private

Luxherta Buzi. Picture: private

Luxherta Buzi’s private fusion map is already quite well explored. Having been to Germany, Belgium, France, The Netherlands and the United States of America, the 28 year old fusion scientist is a world citizen on a mission. The Albanian is chasing her dream of joining ITER while currently working at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, which enabled her to study the particle flux impact on tungsten surfaces.

Luxherta, when did you first hear about fusion in general?
I have always been fascinated by science because it feeds my curiosity for discovery and understanding. Fusion research is particularly interesting because it concerns the future of humanity. I was first intrigued by it during my high school studies. While learning about the phases of matter, I asked my physics professor what happens to a gas if you heat it to extremely high temperatures. At that time the explanation I received was the basic definition of plasma as an ionized gas and the terrestrial confinement with magnetic fields. Since plasma physics is not taught as a Master’s programme in Albania, I decided to apply for a European Erasmus Mundus scholarship.

Your work is focussed on plasma-material interactions. In which laboratories did you pursue your research?
I did my PhD on the „Influence of the particle flux on surface modifications of tungsten“. Therefore, I was affiliated with Ghent University in Belgium and University of Lorraine in France but the actual research was performed at the Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ), the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER) and the University of California in San Diego. I chose these three labs, because their linear plasma devices generate particle fluxes that vary by several orders of magnitude, which was fundamental for my research. During my Master studies I spent the first two semesters at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Leaving Madrid and the Carlos III University behind me after the third semester, I spent my last semester working on my thesis at the Forschungszentrum Jülich.

Why is your research important for fusion?
This work addresses the effects of high energetic plasma particles on tungsten, which is the selected material for the high heat load components in ITER.

What are you currently investigating?
After my PhD I was given a great opportunity to join the Princeton University. I am currently interested in doing experiments on liquid metals, deuterium retention and the effects of impurities on lithium deuterium intake at the thus supporting the research goals of NSTX-U, the newly set up spherical tokamak in the US.

What are your future goals?
In the future, I see myself continuing with research that supports fusion programmes and other plasma applications. But fusion needs collaboration and for this reason I am happy to see that EUROfusion brings together researchers from many different European research units.