Ultra-short, beamed source of laser-driven epithermal neutrons

S. R. Mirfayzi, T. Mori, D. Rusby, C. Armstrong, H. Ahmed, M. Borghesi, C.M. Brenner, R.J. Clarke, Z.E. Davidson, D. Doria, C. P. Jones, P. McKenna, D. Neely, T. B. Scott, A. Yogo, S. Kar

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Development of intense neutron sources driven by laser will enable a range of scientific investigations and new opportunities for industrial and medical applications. In particular, an ultra-short, point-like source of epithermal neutrons using laser-driven ultra-short ion pulses would open new opportunities for many unprecedented time-resolved spectroscopic and imaging applications. This paper reports the first measurement of the ultra-short bursts of epithermal (sub-MeV) neutron beams using intense lasers, produced predominately by the endothermic 7Li(p,n)7Be reaction at the near energy threshold. Using a 6LiF scintillator in time-of-flight arrangement, epithermal neutrons of ∼ 107 n/sr/pulse in the range of 20-200 keV were measured, which intrinsically offers a beamed feature and ultra-short duration. The mechanism of epithermal neutron production and the crosscalibration of the diagnostic employed for extending the spectral measurements down to epithermal range are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 May 2019


  • epithermal neutrons
  • laser-driven ultra-short ion pulses
  • intense lasers


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