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    Rights statement: Copyright 2016 American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Applied Physics Letters, 109,14, 2016 and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4963819 This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.

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High repetition-rate neutron generation by several-mJ, 35 fs pulses interacting with free-flowing D2O

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

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  • J. Hah
  • G.M. Petrov
  • J.A. Nees
  • Z.-H. He
  • M.D. Hammig
  • K. Krushelnick
  • A.G.R. Thomas
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Article number144102
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>4/10/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Applied Physics Letters
Issue number14
Volume109
Number of pages4
StatePublished
Early online date4/10/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Using several-mJ energy pulses from a high-repetition rate (1/2 kHz), ultrashort (35 fs) pulsed laser interacting with a 10 lm diameter stream of free-flowing heavy water (D2O), we demonstrate a 2.45 MeV neutron flux of 105/s. Operating at high intensity (of order 1019W/cm2), laser pulse energy is efficiently absorbed in the pre-plasma, generating energetic deuterons. These collide with deuterium nuclei in both the bulk target and the large volume of low density D2O vapor surrounding the target to generate neutrons through dðd; nÞ3 He reactions. The neutron flux, as measured by a calibrated neutron bubble detector, increases as the laser pulse energy is increased from 6 mJ to 12 mJ. A quantitative comparison between the measured flux and the results derived from 2D-particle-in-cell simulations shows comparable neutron fluxes for laser characteristics similar to the experiment. The simulations reveal that there are two groups of deuterons. Forward moving deuterons generate deuterium–deuterium fusion reactions in the D2O stream and act as a point source of neutrons, while backward moving deuterons propagate through the low-density D2O vapor filled chamber and yield a volumetric source of neutrons.

Bibliographic note

Copyright 2016 American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Applied Physics Letters, 109,14, 2016 and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4963819 This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.