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Developments in Fullerene Ion Propulsion Research

Show simple item record Leifer, Stephanie en_US Anderson, John en_US Anderson, Mark en_US Mueller, Juergen en_US Goodwin, David en_US 2004-10-06 2004-10-06 1994-06-27 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Indianapolis, IN en_US
dc.identifier.clearanceno 94-0938 en_US
dc.description.abstract Several reports of successful operation of DC discharges using fullerene vapor have been made. However, degradation of the propellant molecules in the vapor source and in contact with the filament cathode was observed in each case. Because disintegration of the fullerene cage could result in poor performance or thruster failure, we have developed an RF ion thruster for use with C<SUB>60</SUB> propellant to avoid the presence of electrodes inside the discharge chamber. Also, we conducted a series of experiments to ascertain the stability of fullerenes at high temperatures. We find that when C<SUB>60</SUB> and C<SUB>70</SUB> are maintained at temperatures above 1073 K, or are exposed to hot metal surfaces, significant degradation occurs. We find an activation energy of 261.5 kJ/mol for this process. At temperatures below 873 K, no breakdown of fullerenes can be detected, even after heating for 6 hours. The effect of these findings on C<SUB>60</SUB> ion thruster design is discussed. en_US
dc.format.extent 811934 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.subject.other fullerenes ion propulsion propellents ion thrusters RF ion thrusters temperature stability en_US
dc.title Developments in Fullerene Ion Propulsion Research en_US

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