A miniature thermal neutron source using high power lasers

Mirfayzi, S. R. and Ahmed, H. and Doria, D. and Alejo, A. and Ansell, S. and Clarke, R.J. and Gonzalez-Izquierdo, B. and Hadjisolomou, P. and Heathcote, R. and Hodge, T. and Martin, P. and Raspino, D. and Schooneveld, E. and McKenna, P. and Rhodes, N.J. and Neely, D. and Borghesi, M. and Kar, S. (2020) A miniature thermal neutron source using high power lasers. Applied Physics Letters, 116 (17). 174102. ISSN 0003-6951 (https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0003170)

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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.


Mirfayzi, S. R., Ahmed, H., Doria, D., Alejo, A., Ansell, S., Clarke, R.J., Gonzalez-Izquierdo, B., Hadjisolomou, P., Heathcote, R., Hodge, T., Martin, P., Raspino, D., Schooneveld, E., McKenna, P. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8061-7091, Rhodes, N.J., Neely, D., Borghesi, M. and Kar, S.;