I have recently come up with a very interesting concept in engineering that I would also like to share with peers. However, I am relatively fearful that someone may hear the idea and make it or patent it before I can. Thus, I would like to find a way to legally mark the idea as my own and make certain that no one can copy the concept and profit off of the copy.
The design concept is relatively simple. It would simply be how the device works ("chlorine gas is run through liquid x to produce y, which is taken to the magnetic gun", "water is used to make the metal behave like a conductor for when y is introduced"). I would like to lay claim. to this concept if possible. It has never been done before, thus, there is no worry about it being in public domain. I would just like it under my name.
Unfortunately, I am very low on money at the moment and could maybe only pay $200 to undergo whatever would be needed to claim the idea as my own. What options are available to me? How should I proceed? Thank you.