Publications associated with Laser Fusion and Extreme Field Science


Numerical study of neutron beam divergence in a beam-fusion scenario employing laser driven ions

Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment Elsevier 829 (2016) 176-180

A Alejo, A Green, H Ahmed, APL Robinson, M Cerchez, R Clarke, D Doria, J Fernandez, S Dorkings, P McKenna, SR Mirfayzi, K Naughton, D Neely, P Norreys, C Peth, H Powell, JA Ruiz, S Kar, J Swain, M Borghesi, O Willi

The most established route to create a laser-based neutron source is by employing laser accelerated, low atomic-number ions in fusion reactions. In addition to the high reaction cross-sections at moderate energies of the projectile ions, the anisotropy in neutron emission is another important feature of beam-fusion reactions. Using a simple numerical model based on neutron generation in a pitcher–catcher scenario, anisotropy in neutron emission was studied for the deuterium–deuterium fusion reaction. Simulation results are consistent with the narrow-divergence (∼70° full width at half maximum) neutron beam recently served in an experiment employing multi-MeV deuteron beams of narrow divergence (up to 30° FWHM, depending on the ion energy) accelerated by a sub-petawatt laser pulse from thin deuterated plastic foils via the Target Normal Sheath Acceleration mechanism. By varying the input ion beam parameters, simulations show that a further improvement in the neutron beam directionality (i.e. reduction in the beam divergence) can be obtained by increasing the projectile ion beam temperature and cut-off energy, as expected from interactions employing higher power lasers at upcoming facilities.


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