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From August 21 2023 to March 13 2024, I worked within the Complex Plasmas research group at 
the Space and Plasma Physics Division of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, in 
order to develop my MSc thesis in Nuclear Engineering. Here, I had the pleasure to contribute to a 
research project aiming to improve the current understanding of the steady-state remobilization of 
metallic dust in tokamaks by means of Particle-In-Cell numerical modeling. For this purpose, I also 
had the opportunity to spend three months at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where a 
state-of-the-art PIC code, named CPIC, is currently adopted to study plasma-object interactions. 

Under the supervision of Prof. Svetlana Ratynskaia and Dr. Panagiotis Tolias, I spent my first three 
weeks in Stockholm undergoing a broad literature research about the emergence of dust particles 
in plasmas and their interaction phenomena with the plasma itself. I learned that dust – solid/liquid 
particulates in the μm-nm range size - is produced in tokamaks because of several interaction 
mechanisms between the plasma and the reactor first wall. After being generated, dust grains can 
wander in the edge plasma and eventually stick to plasma facing components. Then, if a sufficiently 
intense force acts on adhered dust, it can detach dust particles from the wall and release them again 
in the plasma: we call this phenomenon “dust remobilization”. Unfortunately, we still poorly 
understand how dust is remobilized during steady-state tokamak operation, where plasma forces 
are deemed as responsible for detaching adhered dust. Numerical modeling has the potential to 
drastically improve our capability of quantifying plasma-induced forces on dust in a reliable way.

This is why, in mid September, I traveled to the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Here, under the 
supervision of Dr. Gian Luca Delzanno, I assisted the T-5 division in the implementation of new 
numerical diagnostics that could enable the CPIC code to calculate plasma forces experienced by 
dust grains. Then, we devised several validation tests in order to benchmark the new features of the 
code. During this time, I discovered the fascinating nature of computational plasma physics and 
gained a solid background knowledge about the PIC algorithm.

After three months, I returned to Stockholm, where I set up a simulation workflow dedicated to the 
application of the new diagnostics to the problem of steady-state dust remobilization. Last, I was 
involved in a thorough data analysis activity together with my supervisors.

Overall, this research experience turned out to be the best opportunity for personal and professional 
growth that I could ask for. I had the chance to meet exceptional people who provided me with 
invaluable guidance. I am very grateful to FuseNet for supporting this journey