Thermionic energy conversion continued...  
    In 1958 the Russian government made efforts to develop space power sources based on thermionic click to enlarge
    energy conversion. Between 1970-1984 seven power systems with reactors were tested.
These ‘TOPAZ’-units were tested twice in space as an electric power source for the ‘COSMOS’ satellites.
  In the US funding for space nuclear power was stopped in 1972. The USSR however continued to develop a successor of the
    TOPAZ, the TOPAZ II.  
    Principles of thermionic energy conversion  
    In its easiest configuration, a thermionic energy converter consists of a hot emitter which is separated click to enlarge
  from a somewhat cooler collector by a vacuum gap.
    Due to the temperature gradient across the gap a thermovoltage is developed and a current
    established which in turn can be used to power an external load.
  Lab at the ASU Research Park  
      click to enlarge
    Our lab for diamond research is now located in the Macrotechnology Works building at the ASU
    Research Park. The facility used to be a Motorola fab so it is a great place for doing research.
    This was our lab at NC State  
    It was located on NC State's Centennial Campus and you can find some pictures here.