Multi-cell trap developments towards the accumulation and confinement of large quantities of positrons
The multi-cell Penning-Malmberg trap concept has been proposed as a way to accumulate and confine unprecedented numbers of antiparticles, an attractive but challenging goal. We report on the commissioning and first results (using electron plasmas) of the World's second prototype of such a trap, which builds and improves on the findings of its predecessor. Reliable alignment of both `master' and `storage' cells with the axial magnetic field has enabled confinement of plasmas, without use of the `rotating wall' (RW) compression technique, for over an hour in the master cell and tens of seconds in the storage cells. In the master cell, attachment to background neutrals is found to be the main source of charge loss, with an overall charge-confinement time of 8.6 h. Transfer to on-axis and off-axis storage cells has been demonstrated, with an off-axis transfer rate of 50 % of the initial particles, and confinement times in the storage cells in the tens of seconds (again, without RW compression). This, in turn, has enabled the first simultaneous plasma confinement in two off-axis cells, a milestone for the multi-cell trap concept.