Production of neutrons up to 18 MeV in high-intensity, short-pulse laser matter interactions

Higginson, D. P.; McNaney, J. M.; Swift, D. C.; Petrov, G. M.; Davis, J.; Frenje, J. A.; Jarrott, L. C.; Kodama, R.; Lancaster, K. L.; Mackinnon, A. J.; Nakamura, H.; Patel, P. K.; Tynan, G.; Beg, F. N.
October 2011
Physics of Plasmas;Oct2011, Vol. 18 Issue 10, p100703
Academic Journal
The generation of high-energy neutrons using laser-accelerated ions is demonstrated experimentally using the Titan laser with 360 J of laser energy in a 9 ps pulse. In this technique, a short-pulse, high-energy laser accelerates deuterons from a CD2 foil. These are incident on a LiF foil and subsequently create high energy neutrons through the 7Li(d,xn) nuclear reaction (Q = 15 MeV). Radiochromic film and a Thomson parabola ion-spectrometer were used to diagnose the laser accelerated deuterons and protons. Conversion efficiency into protons was 0.5%, an order of magnitude greater than into deuterons. Maximum neutron energy was shown to be angularly dependent with up to 18 MeV neutrons observed in the forward direction using neutron time-of-flight spectrometry. Absolutely calibrated CR-39 detected spectrally integrated neutron fluence of up to 8 × 108 n sr-1 in the forward direction.


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