A miniature thermal neutron source using high power lasers

S. R. Mirfayzi, H. Ahmed, D. Doria, A. Alejo, S. Ansell, R.J. Clarke, B. Gonzalez-Izquierdo, P. Hadjisolomou, R. Heathcote, T. Hodge, P. Martin, D. Raspino, E. Schooneveld, P. McKenna, N.J. Rhodes, D. Neely, M. Borghesi, S. Kar

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The continued improvement of high power laser technologies is recasting the prospects of smallscale neutron sources, to enable scientific communities and industries performing experiments that are currently offered at extensive accelerator-driven facilities. This paper reports moderation of laser-driven fast neutrons to thermal energies using a compact, modular moderator assembly. A significant thermal (∼ 25 meV) flux of ∼ 106 n/sr/pulse was measured from water and plastic moderators in a proof-of-principle experiment employing a relatively moderate power laser delivering 200 J on target in 10 ps. Using MCNPX simulations, the experimental results are reproduced and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number174102
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • high power laser
  • small scale neutron sources
  • laser-driven fast neutrons


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