Top arrow pointing up



Investigation of Proton Beam-Driven Fusion Reactions Generated by an Ultra-Short Petawatt-Scale Laser Pulse

Oct 13, 2022. Publications


We present results from a pitcher-catcher experiment utilizing a proton beam generated with nanostructured targets at a petawatt- class, short-pulse laser facility to induce proton-boron fusion reactions in a secondary target. A 45-fs laser pulse with either 400 nm wavelength and 7 J energy, or 800 nm and 14 J, and an intensity of up to 5 × 1021 W/cm2 was used to irradiate either thin foil targets or near-solid density, nanostructured targets made of boron nitride (BN) nanotubes. In particular, for 800 nm wavelength irradiation, a BN nanotube target created a proton beam with about five times higher maximum energy and about ten times more protons than a foil target. This proton beam was used to irradiate a thick plate made of boron nitride placed in close proximity to trigger 11B (p, α) 2α fusion reactions. A suite of diagnostics consisting of Thomson parabola ion spectrometers, postshot nuclear activation measurements, neutron time-of-flight detectors, and differentially filtered solid-state nuclear track detectors were used to measure both the primary proton spectrum and the fusion products. From the primary proton spectrum, we calculated (p, n) and (α,n) reactions in the catcher and compare with our measurements. The nuclear activation results agree quantitatively and neutron signals agree qualitatively with the calculations, giving confidence that primary particle distributions can be obtained from such measurements. These results provide new insights for measuring the ion distributions inside of proton-boron fusion targets. 


More From Publications

Jan 16, 2023    Publications

Non-thermal electron acceleration from magnetically driven reconnection in a laboratory plasma

A. Chien, L Gao, S. Zhang, H. Ji, E. G. Blackman, W. Daughton, A. Stanier, A. Le, F. Guo, R. Follett, H. Chen, G....

Read more

Dec 28, 2022    Publications

A Flexible Proton Beam Imaging Energy Spectrometer (PROBIES) for High Repetition Rate or Single-Shot High Eenergy Density (HED) experiments

D. A. Mariscal, B. Z. Djordjević, R. Anirudh, T. Bremer, P. C. Campbell, S. Feister, E. Folsom, E. S. Grace, R....

Read more

Dec 2, 2022    Publications

Ablating Ion Velocity Distributions in Short-Pulse-Heated Solids via X-Ray Doppler Shifts

B. F. Kraus, Lan Gao, W. Fox, K. W. Hill, M. Bitter, P. C. Efthimion, A. Moreau, R. Hollinger, Shoujun Wang, Huanyu...

Read more

Nov 3, 2022    Publications

Ultra-compact x-ray spectrometer for high-repetition-rate laser–plasma experiments

G. Zeraouli, D. Mariscal, E. Grace, G. G. Scott, K. K. Swanson, R. Simpson, B. Z. Djordjevic, R. Nedbailo, H....

Read more

Oct 31, 2022    Publications

Applications of machine learning to a compact magnetic spectrometer for high repetition rate, laser-driven particle acceleration

K. K. Swanson, D. A. Mariscal, B. Z. Djordjevic, G. Zeraouli, G. G. Scott, R. Hollinger, S. Wang, H. Song, B....

Read more

Sep 21, 2022    Publications

Homogeneous, Micron-Scale High-Energy-Density Matter Generated by Relativistic Laser-Solid Interactions

N. F. Beier, H. Allison, P. Efthimion, K. A. Flippo, L. Gao, S. B. Hansen, K. Hill, R. Hollinger, M. Logantha, Y....

Read more