Numerical study of neutron beam divergence in a beam-fusion scenario employing laser driven ions

A. Alejo, A. Green, H. Ahmed, A.P.L. Robinson, M. Cerchez, R. Clarke, D. Doria, S. Dorkings, J. Fernandez, P. McKenna, S.R. Mirfayzi, K. Naughton, D. Neely, P. Norreys, C. Peth, H. Powell, J.A. Ruiz, J. Swain, O. Willi, M. BorghesiS. Kar

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Abstract

The most established route to create a laser-based neutron source is by employing laser accelerated, low atomic number ions in fusion reactions. In addition to benefiting from the high reaction cross-sections at moderate energies of the projectile ions, the anisotropy in the neutron emission is another important feature of beam-fusion reactions. Using a simple numerical model based on neutron generation in a pitcher-catcher scenario, anisotropy in the neutron emission was studied for the deuterium-deuterium fusion reaction. Simulation results are consistent with the narrow divergence ( 70 full width at half maximum) neutron beam recently obtained from an experiment employing multi-MeV deuteron beams of narrow divergence (upto 30 FWHM depending on the ion energy) accelerated by a subpetawatt laser pulse from thin deuterated plastic foils via the Target Normal Sheath Acceleration mechanism. By varying the input ion beam parameters, simulations show that a further improvement in the neutron beam directionality (i.e. reduction in the beam divergence) can be obtained by increasing the projectile ion beam temperature and cut-off energy, as expected from the interactions with higher power lasers at upcoming facilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-180
Number of pages5
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Volume829
Early online date14 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016
Event2nd European Advanced Accelerator Concepts Workshop 2015 - Elba, Italy
Duration: 13 Sep 201519 Sep 2015
Conference number: 2nd

Keywords

  • laser
  • neutron
  • beam fusion

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