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Title: Nuclear Reactions Induced by a Pyroelectric Accelerator

Abstract

This work demonstrates the use of pyroelectric crystals to induce nuclear reactions. A system based on a pair of pyroelectric crystals is used to ionize gas and accelerate the ions to energies of up to 200 keV. The system operates above room temperature by simply heating or cooling the pyroelectric crystals. A D-D fusion reaction was achieved with this technique, and 2.5 MeV neutrons were detected. The measured neutron yield is in good agreement with the calculated yield. This work also verifies the results published by Naranjo, Gimzewski, and Putterman [Nature (London) 434, 1115 (2005)].

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20778592
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physical Review Letters; Journal Volume: 96; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.96.054803; (c) 2006 The American Physical Society; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ACCELERATORS; COLD FUSION; COOLING; CRYSTALS; ELECTRIC CHARGES; HEATING; IONS; KEV RANGE 100-1000; MEV RANGE 01-10; NEUTRON SOURCES; NEUTRONS; POLARIZATION; TEMPERATURE DEPENDENCE; TEMPERATURE RANGE 0273-0400 K

Citation Formats

Geuther, Jeffrey, Danon, Yaron, and Saglime, Frank. Nuclear Reactions Induced by a Pyroelectric Accelerator. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVLETT.96.0.
Geuther, Jeffrey, Danon, Yaron, & Saglime, Frank. Nuclear Reactions Induced by a Pyroelectric Accelerator. United States. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVLETT.96.0.
Geuther, Jeffrey, Danon, Yaron, and Saglime, Frank. Fri . "Nuclear Reactions Induced by a Pyroelectric Accelerator". United States. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVLETT.96.0.
@article{osti_20778592,
title = {Nuclear Reactions Induced by a Pyroelectric Accelerator},
author = {Geuther, Jeffrey and Danon, Yaron and Saglime, Frank},
abstractNote = {This work demonstrates the use of pyroelectric crystals to induce nuclear reactions. A system based on a pair of pyroelectric crystals is used to ionize gas and accelerate the ions to energies of up to 200 keV. The system operates above room temperature by simply heating or cooling the pyroelectric crystals. A D-D fusion reaction was achieved with this technique, and 2.5 MeV neutrons were detected. The measured neutron yield is in good agreement with the calculated yield. This work also verifies the results published by Naranjo, Gimzewski, and Putterman [Nature (London) 434, 1115 (2005)].},
doi = {10.1103/PHYSREVLETT.96.0},
journal = {Physical Review Letters},
number = 5,
volume = 96,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Feb 10 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Fri Feb 10 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}
  • The Nuclear Science and Engineering Research Center (NSERC), a Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) office located at the United States Military Academy (USMA), sponsors and manages cadet and faculty research in support of DTRA objectives. The NSERC has created an experimental pyroelectric crystal accelerator program to enhance undergraduate education at USMA in the Department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering. This program provides cadets with hands-on experience in designing their own experiments using an inexpensive tabletop accelerator. This device uses pyroelectric crystals to ionize and accelerate gas ions to energies of {approx}100 keV. Within the next year, cadets and faculty atmore » USMA will use this device to create neutrons through the deuterium-deuterium (D-D) fusion process, effectively creating a compact, portable neutron generator. The double crystal pyroelectric accelerator will also be used by students to investigate neutron, x-ray, and ion spectroscopy.« less
  • Intense pulsed D-D neutron emission with rates >10{sup 10} n/s during the pulse, pulse widths of {approx}100's ns, and neutron yields >10 k per pulse are demonstrated in a compact pyroelectric accelerator. The accelerator consists of a small pyroelectric LiTaO{sub 3} crystal which provides the accelerating voltage and an independent compact spark plasma ion source. The crystal voltage versus temperature is characterized and compare well with theory. Results show neutron output per pulse that scales with voltage as V{approx}1.7. These neutron yields match a simple model of the system at low voltages but are lower than predicted at higher voltagesmore » due to charge losses not accounted for in the model. Interpretation of the data against modeling provides understanding of the accelerator and in general pyroelectric LiTaO{sub 3} crystals operated as charge limited negative high voltage targets. The findings overall serve as the proof-of-principle and basis for pyroelectric neutron generators that can be pulsed, giving peak neutron rates orders of magnitude greater than previous work, and notably increase the potential applications of pyroelectric based neutron generators.« less
  • Intense pulsed D-D neutron emission with rates of >10{sup 10} n/s during the pulse, pulse widths of approximately hundreds of nanoseconds and neutron yields of greater than 10 000 per pulse, are demonstrated in a compact pyroelectric accelerator. The accelerator consists of a small pyroelectric LiTaO{sub 3} crystal that provides the accelerating voltage and an independent compact spark plasma ion source. The crystal voltage versus temperature is characterized and compares well with theory. Results show neutron output per pulse that scales with voltage as V{sup {approx}}{sup 1.7}. These neutron yields match a simple model of the system at low voltagesmore » but are lower than predicted at higher voltages due to charge losses not accounted for in the model. Interpretation of the data against modeling provides understanding of the accelerator and in general pyroelectric LiTaO{sub 3} crystals operated as charge limited negative high voltage targets. The findings overall serve as the proof of principle and basis for pyroelectric neutron generators that can be pulsed, giving peak neutron rates orders of magnitude greater than previous work and notably increase the potential applications of pyroelectric based neutron generators.« less
  • The Nuclear Science and Engineering Research Center (NSERC), a Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) office located at the United States Military Academy (USMA), sponsors and manages cadet and faculty research in support of DTRA objectives. Cadets in the Department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering at USMA are using pyroelectric crystals to ionize and accelerate residual gas trapped inside a vacuum system. A system using two lithium tantalate crystals with associated diagnostics was designed and is now operational. X-ray energies of approximately 150 keV have been achieved. Future work will focus on developing a portable neutron generator using the D-D nuclearmore » fusion process.« less
  • The applicability of polarized ferroelectric ceramics as a pyroelectric in a pyroelectric accelerator is shown by experiments. The spectra of X-ray radiation of energy up to tens of keV, generated by accelerated electrons, have been measured on heating and cooling of the ceramics in vacuum. It is suggested that curved layers of polarized ferroelectric ceramics be used as elements of ceramic pyroelectric accelerators. Besides, nanotubes and nanowires manufactured from ferroelectric ceramics are proposed for the use in nanometer-scale ceramic pyroelectric nanoaccelerators for future applications in nanotechnologies.