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In recent years, 3D printers have become invaluable tools in physics laboratories because they allow for rapid prototyping and the development of parts with complex geometries that can be difficult or impossible to machine.
I have developed a method of 3D-printing with the fluoroplastic Kel-F (PCTFE). Kel-F is used in dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) experiments because it is transparent to mm-wave radiation, contains no free protons, and retains its plasticity at cryogenic temperatures. For these reasons, Kel-F is used by the UNH Nuclear Physics Group as part of its tensor-polarized target project.
I am designing 3D-printed mm-wave Kel-F lenses to be integrated into a DNP target system. The source of the polarizing radiation is a 140 GHz gaussian beam. My lenses will be designed to distribute this beam evenly throughout the target system, fully saturating the target within and thus driving up the degree of polarization. To date, deuteron tensor-polarization rates of 15-20% have been achieved, and it is a central goal of the UNH Nuclear Group to increase this rate to > 30%.
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McGuire, Kellie, "3D-Printed mm-Wave Lenses for DNP Target System" (2019). Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) Student Presentations. 453.