SIMULATION STUDIES AND FABRICATION OF MICROTRAPS WITH LONG ASPECT RATIO TO STORE HIGH DENSITY OF POSITRONS
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Conventionally, non-neutral antimatter is stored using a Penning-Malmberg trap, a single tube with aspect ratios being of the order of less than 10:1. Parallel microtubes with aspect ratios of 1000:1 have the potential to store many orders of magnitude more with substantially lower end electrode potential than conventional traps. In this study, the charged particles storage capacity of these microtraps (micro-Penning-Malmberg traps) with radii of the order of tens of microns was explored. Simulation studies of the motions of charged particles were conducted with particle-in-cell plasma code WARP and the Charged Particle Optics (CPO) program. It was presented how to evaluate and lower the numerical noise by controlling the modeling parameters so the simulated plasma evolves toward computational equilibrium. The local equilibrium distribution, where longitudinal force balance is satisfied along each magnetic field line, was attained in 10 μs for plasmas initialized with a uniform density and Boltzmann energy distribution. To reach global equilibrium longer runs were performed using a fast particle mover code. Charge clouds developed the expected radial density distribution (that of a soft edge) and rigid rotation evolved to some extent. The plasma confinement time and its thermalization were independent of the length showing the length-dependency, reported in experiments, is due to fabrication and field asymmetries. Simulation demonstrated each microtrap with 50 µm radius immersed in a 7 T magnetic field could store positrons indefinitely with a density of 1.6×1011 cm-3 while the confinement voltage was only 10 V. For microtraps with radii between 100 μm and 3 μm, the particle density scaled as radius-2. Plasma confinement time was also independent of trap length. A unique approach for the fabrication of long-aspect ratio microtubes was presented for 100 μm microtraps. Standard processes such as photolithography, deep reactive ion etching, sputtering and thermo-compression bonding were all used; however, unique methods of these processes were developed to overcome many engineering challenges and realize successful trapping. Positron losses occur in experimentation by trap imperfections such as misalignment of microtraps, asymmetries, and physical imperfections on the surfaces. This study described the fabrication issues encountered and addressed geometry errors and asymmetries.