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Comparison of bulk and pitcher-catcher targets for laser-driven neutron production

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  • L. Willingale
  • G. M. Petrov
  • A. Maksimchuk
  • J. Davis
  • R. R. Freeman
  • A. S. Joglekar
  • T. Matsuoka
  • C. D. Murphy
  • V. M. Ovchinnikov
  • A. G. R. Thomas
  • L. Van Woerkom
  • K. Krushelnick
Article number083106
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>08/2011
<mark>Journal</mark>Physics of Plasmas
Issue number8
Number of pages6
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Laser-driven d(d, n)-He-3 beam-target fusion neutron production from bulk deuterated plastic (CD) targets is compared with a pitcher-catcher target scheme using an identical laser and detector arrangement. For laser intensities in the range of (1-3) x 10(19) W cm(-2), it was found that the bulk targets produced a high yield (5 x 10(4) neutrons per steradian) beamed preferentially in the laser propagation direction. Numerical modeling shows the importance of considering the temperature adjusted stopping powers to correctly model the neutron production. The bulk CD targets have a high background target temperature leading to a reduced stopping power for the deuterons, which increases the probability of generating neutrons by fusion. Neutron production from the pitcher-catcher targets was not as efficient since it does not benefit from the reduced stopping power in the cold catcher target. Also, the inhibition of the deuteron acceleration by a proton rich contamination layer significantly reduces the pitcher-catcher neutron production. (C) 2011 American Institute of Physics. [doi: 10.1063/1.3624769]