Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Physics and Astronomy

Committee Chair

Earl Scime

Committee Co-Chair

Paul Cassak

Committee Member

Fabien Goulay

Committee Member

Amy Keesee

Committee Member

Weichao Tu


Neutral hydrogen particles play an important role in many fusion systems. The edge region of fusion plasmas is strongly influenced by these neutral particles and is of growing importance because of the challenges of plasma material interaction. A two photon absorption laser induced fluorescence diagnostic at West Virginia University has been constructed to measure the local density and velocity distribution of these neutral particles. The diagnostic measures the ground state of hydrogen isotopes by way of two photon absorption from the 1s to 3d state and subsequent single photon emission to the 2 p state. These measurements are absolutely calibrated by comparing the integrated emission spectra to that of a measurement performed on a known density of calibration gas and knowing the relative absorption cross sections for the two species. Measurements were performed on deuterium atoms in the Helicity Injected Torus with Steady Induction 3 and calibrated using the standard krypton calibration scheme. Measured neutral densities were well below predicted values and the measurement process identified a flaw in the krypton calibration scheme. A new calibration scheme using xenon gas was developed to eliminate any possibility of chromatic aberration through refractive optics. This new xenon calibration scheme required measurement of the relative absorption cross section between the 5p6 to 4p 57f to 5p55 d Xe scheme and the 4p6 to 4 p55p to 4p 55s Kr scheme, then comparison of the Xe to Kr relative cross section to the Kr to H relative cross section to determine the overall Xe to H relative absorption cross section. Doppler free two photon absorption laser induced fluorescence measurements were also performed on the compact helicon for waves and instabilities experiment (CHEWIE), for hydrogen, deuterium, and krypton neutrals. The Doppler free technique increased signal intensity and narrowed the measured spectral width of the absorption line. The Doppler free technique allows for higher sensitivity and faster data acquisition rates of neutral density measurements on high temperature systems. These experiments demonstrated the efficacy and improved the performance of the two photon absorption laser induced fluorescence diagnostic.