2024 article

Carbon nanofibers/liquid metal composites for high temperature laser ultrasound

Garcia, N., Kim, H., Vinod, K., Sahoo, A., Wax, M., Kim, T., … Jiang, X. (2024, March). ULTRASONICS, Vol. 138.

author keywords: Photoacoustic; Carbon nanofiber; High temperature; Laser ultrasound; Liquid metal
Source: Web Of Science
Added: March 11, 2024

As the demand for clean energy becomes greater worldwide, there will also be an increasing demand for next generation nuclear power plants that incorporate advanced sensors and monitoring equipment. A major challenge posed by nuclear power plants is that, during normal operation, the reactor compartment is subjected to high operating temperatures and radiation flux. Diagnostic sensors monitoring such structures are also subject to temperatures reaching hundreds of degrees Celsius, which puts them at risk for heat degradation. In this work, the ability of carbon nanofibers to work in conjunction with a liquid metal as a photoacoustic transmitter was demonstrated at high temperatures. Fields metal, a Bi-In-Sn eutectic, and gallium are compared as acoustic mediums. Fields metal was shown experimentally to have superior performance over gallium and other reference cases. Under stimulation from a low fluence 6 ns pulse laser at 6 mJ/cm2 with 532 nm green light, the Fields metal transducer transmitted a 200 kHz longitudinal wave with amplitude >5.5 times that generated by a gallium transducer at 300 °C. Each high temperature test was conducted from a hot to cold progression, beginning as high as 300 °C, and then cooling down to 100 °C. Each test shows increasing signal amplitude of the liquid metal transducers as temperature decreases. Carbon nanofibers show a strong improvement over previously used candle-soot nanoparticles in both their ability to produce strong acoustic signals and absorb higher laser fluences up to 12 mJ/cm2.