Constructing and Testing a High Voltage Chain for the nEDM Experiment at Oak Ridge National Lab

Faculty Sponsor

Shirvel Stanislaus


Arts and Sciences



ORCID Identifier(s)


Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-23-2021


The neutron Electric Dipole Moment (nEDM) experiment at Oak Ridge National Lab aims to search for the nEDM at the level of 3 x 10^-28 e*cm using a strong electric field and a small, stable magnetic field. The experiment calls for an electric field of 75 kV/cm, which requires a high voltage chain to be suspended into the apparatus where ultra-cold neutrons will be present. To test the conductive and electrical properties of such a chain, a test on the Half Scale High Voltage system (HSHV) was conducted to see if a stainless steel chain could sustain this electric field without breaking down while suspended in liquid helium at 0.4K and with various sensors in its proximity. The chain's smoothness, stability, and cleanliness had to be maximized to prevent breakdown. For the final project, stainless steel creates too much fluctuation in the magnetic field. Therefore, unique acrylic diodes coated in copper germanium were tested for their electric capabilities in liquid helium. Details on the voltage chain assembly and tests, along with the copper germanium performance, will be presented.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Lauren Kadlec is a sophomore bioengineering major. She participated in robotics all through high school and in her first year of undergrad, becoming project manager of Underwater Robotics and Vice-president of the Robotics club. She grew more and more interested in physics during her first year of undergrad through her 100 level classes. Professor Stanislaus gave her the opportunity to combine her loves for engineering and physics at Los Alamos National Lab during the summer.

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