Beamed neutron emission driven by laser accelerated light ions

Kar, S and Green, A and Ahmed, H and Alejo, A and Robinson, A P L and Cerchez, M and Clarke, R and Doria, D and Dorkings, S and Fernandez, J and Mirfayzi, S R and Mckenna, P and Naughton, K and Neely, D and Norreys, P and Peth, C and Powell, H and Ruiz, J A and Swain, J and Willi, O and Borghesi, M (2016) Beamed neutron emission driven by laser accelerated light ions. New Journal of Physics, 18. ISSN 1367-2630

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    Highly anisotropic, beam-like neutron emission with peak flux of the order of109 n/sr was obtained from light nuclei reactions in a pitcher-catcher scenario, by employing MeV ions driven by sub-petawatt laser. The spatial prole of the neutron beam, fully captured for the first time by employing a CR39 nuclear track detector, shows a FWHM divergence angle of ∼70°, with a peak flux nearly an order of magnitude higher than the isotropic component elsewhere. The observed beamed flux of neutrons is highly favourable for a wide range of applications, and indeed for further transport and moderation to thermal energies.  A systematic study employing various combinations of pitcher-catcher materials indicates the dominant reactions being d(p,n+p)1H and d(d,n)3He. Albeit in sufficient cross-section data are available for modelling, the observed anisotropy in the neutrons' spatial and spectral profiles are most likely related to the directionality and high energy of the projectile ions.

    ORCID iDs

    Kar, S, Green, A, Ahmed, H, Alejo, A, Robinson, A P L, Cerchez, M, Clarke, R, Doria, D, Dorkings, S, Fernandez, J, Mirfayzi, S R, Mckenna, P ORCID logoORCID:, Naughton, K, Neely, D, Norreys, P, Peth, C, Powell, H, Ruiz, J A, Swain, J, Willi, O and Borghesi, M;