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Title: Development of the dense plasma focus for short-pulse applications

The dense plasma focus (DPF) has long been considered a compact source for pulsed neutrons and has traditionally been optimized for the total neutron yield. Here, we describe the efforts to optimize the DPF for short-pulse applications by introducing a reentrant cathode at the end of the coaxial plasma gun. We reduced the resulting neutron pulse widths by an average of 21±921±9% from the traditional long-drift DPF design. Pulse widths and yields achieved from deuterium-tritium fusion at 2 MA are 61.8±30.761.8±30.7 ns FWHM and 1.84±0.49×10121.84±0.49×10 12 neutrons per shot. Simulations were conducted concurrently to elucidate the DPF operation and confirm the role of the reentrant cathode. Furthermore, a hybrid fluid-kinetic particle-in-cell modeling capability demonstrates correct sheath velocities, plasma instabilities, and fusion yield rates. Consistent with previous findings that the DPF is dominated by beam-target fusion from superthermal ions, we estimate that the thermonuclear contribution is at the 1% level.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [1] more »;  [3] ;  [2] « less
  1. National Security Technologies, LLC, Las Vegas, NV (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  3. Voss Scientific, Inc., Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
DOE/NV/25946-3065
Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X; TRN: US1701035
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25946
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 24; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
National Security Technologies, LLC, Las Vegas, NV (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation (NA-20)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; dense plasma focus; neutrons; cathodes; anodes; plasma sheaths
OSTI Identifier:
1346421
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1361711