Characteristics of a small plasma focus device

We report on experimental observations in PFP-I, a small 3.8 kJ plasma focus, which is operated in Hydrogen-Argon mixtures to investigate the effect of parameter modifications on the overall performance of the device. An extensive array of diagnostics is been used, which includes voltage and current probes in the external circuit, a novel small magnetic probes array located along the cathode rods, filtered PIN diodes located side and end on, and multi-pinhole X-ray camera. EX1ended operated range from below 0.2 Torr upwards has been achieved with the implementation of the auxiliary discharge circuit. Despite the low voltage and low energy operation, energetic beam formation has been observed at the time of the final compression, prior to disruption. Current sheath formation and evolution has been characterised using the magnetic probes array, in correlation with beam formation and plasma emission. Time integrated visible plasma spectroscopy is performed to investigate impurity effects on focus performance and plasma dynamics at the collapse phase.