Characterization, application and improvement of a laser driven cluster fusion neutron source

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Date

2004-08-16

Authors

Hartke, René

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Abstract

The explosion of deuterated clusters heated by ultra short, high intense laser pulses provides ions with sufficient energy to undergo fusion reactions. Based on this mechanism monochromatic dd-fusion neutrons can be produced by illuminating deuterium clusters with a high intensity laser. For the work presented in this thesis we employed such a cluster fusion neutron source. The clusters from a cryogenically cooled gas jet were heated with a femtosecond, terawatt class Ti:sapphire laser. The results presented in this thesis fall into three categories. First general features of the neutron source will be discussed including the energy dependence and the angular dependence of the neutron source. Then as a first application of the source the calibration of a neutron detector for single shot dd-fusion experiments will be presented. Finally magnetic confinement as a method for increasing the neutron yield will be discussed.

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