Accession Number : ADA325627

Title :   Research on Electrostatic Propulsion Using C60 Molecules.

Descriptive Note : Final rept. 1 Sep 92-31 Dec 96,

Corporate Author : CALIFORNIA INST OF TECH PASADENA

Personal Author(s) : Goodwin, David G. ; Culick, Fred E.

PDF Url : ADA325627

Report Date : 23 MAY 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 12

Abstract : Electrostatic propulsion using C60 as the propellant has the potential to efficiently produce specific impulses in the range from 1000 to 3000 sec, and is therefore attractive for orbit transfer and station keeping missions. However, the viability of this concept depends on properties of the C60 molecule such as the ionization cross section, thermal stability, and resistance to fragmentation in a plasma environment. When this research began, insufficient information about these new materials was available. The objective of this program has been to determine properties of fullerenes relevant for electrostatic propulsion, to demonstrate ion extraction from a discharge, and to assess the implications for fullerene ion thrusters. The experiments we have undertaken fall into several distinct categories: time of flight mass spectrometry, electron energy loss spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermal stability, polarizability, and discharge chamber experiments.

Descriptors :   *INFRARED SPECTROSCOPY, *THERMAL STABILITY, *FULLERENES, *ELECTROSTATICS, *ELECTRIC PROPULSION, *MASS SPECTROMETRY, FOURIER TRANSFORMATION, POLARIZATION, FRAGMENTATION, PLASMAS(PHYSICS), RESISTANCE, IONIZATION, ELECTRON SPECTROSCOPY, THRUSTERS.

Subject Categories : Electric and Ion Propulsion
      Atomic and Molecular Physics and Spectroscopy
      Thermodynamics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE