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The History of NRL's Involvement in NIST's EBIT Facility

Several physicists at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Uri Feldman, Charlie Brown, George Doschek, John Seely, Bob LaVilla, and Verne Jacobs, had coauthored one of the early (1989) papers to emerge from the Livermore EBIT. While several members of that team took an NRL crystal spectrometer across the country to Livermore to help carry out the experiment, there was a growing interest in having a second EBIT facility on the East Coast to facilitate further experiments. At the time, NRL was particularly interested in solar spectra recorded by the NRL instruments on the Skylab ATM mission, the P-70-1 STP mission, and the Yohkoh Japanese satellite mission. The possibility of having a device which could create the same high ionization stages as those observed in solar spectra, but in a controlled way in the lab, was very desirable. The Solar Terrestrial Relationships Branch of the Naval Research Laboratory teamed with the Plasma Radiation Group of NIST's Atomic Physics Division to construct a new EBIT at NIST. The initiation and early planning of this was led by Dr. Jim Roberts on the NIST side and Dr. Uri Feldman on the NRL side. Dr. Charlie Brown, assisted by technician Glenn Holland, led NRL's contributions to the associated technical laboratory work, together with their NIST counterparts Dr. John Gillaspy and Mr. Douglas Alderson. NRL's Dr. Martin Laming also made significant contributions to the early development of the EBIT control system put into use at NIST.

After the early EBIT experiment at Livermore with the NRL Bragg crystal spectrometer (referred to above), this spectrometer joined its identical twin at NIST (they were originally built jointly by NIST and NRL) for use on the EBIT at NIST.

NRL's Dr. Brown supervised the development of a MeVVA which was a replica of the Berkeley group's MeVVA II design. This was carried out by Dr. Craig Boyer and Mr. Glenn Holland at NRL who built and installed the MeVVA on the NIST EBIT during the 1994 time frame. More recently, a new "Two-Wire" MeVVA design was developed completely at NRL under a joint funding collaboration with the NIST EBIT group. The new MeVVA design allows multiple cathode samples (eight different cathodes are possible) remotely selected without a vacuum break or internal vacuum motion. The initial experience with the new MeVVA has shown greatly improved reliability and performance--technical specifications can be found in the article "Low jitter metal vapor vacuum arc ion source for electron beam ion trap injections."

Created October 29, 2015, Updated May 26, 2017