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Title: Characterizing laser-plasma ion accelerators driving an intense neutron beam via nuclear signatures

Abstract

Compact, bright neutron sources are opening up several emerging applications including detection of nuclear materials for national security applications. At Los Alamos National Laboratory, we have used a short-pulse laser to accelerate deuterons in the relativistic transparency regime. These deuterons impinge on a beryllium converter to generate neutrons. During the initial experiments where these neutrons were used for active interrogation of uranium and plutonium, we observed β-delayed neutron production from decay of 9Li, formed by the high-energy deuteron bombardment of the beryllium converter. Analysis of the delayed neutrons provides novel evidence of the divergence of the highest energy portion of the deuterons (i.e., above 10 MeV/nucleon) from the laser axis, a documented feature of the breakout afterburner laser-plasma ion acceleration mechanism. Furthermore, these delayed neutrons form the basis of non-intrusive diagnostics for determining the features of deuteron acceleration as well as monitoring neutron production for the next generation of laser-driven neutron sources.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [1];  [3];  [4]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [5]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Spectral Sciences, Burlington, MA (United States)
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  4. ELI Beamlines, Prague (Czech Republic); Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Dresden (Germany)
  5. Technische Univ. Darmstadt, Darmstadt (Germany)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program
OSTI Identifier:
1496749
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-30568
Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Grant/Contract Number:  
89233218CNA000001
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
43 PARTICLE ACCELERATORS

Citation Formats

Favalli, Andrea, Guler, Nevzat, Henzlova, Daniela Constance, Croft, Stephen, Falk, K., Gautier, Daniel Cort, Ianakiev, Kiril Dimitrov, Iliev, Metodi, Palaniyappan, Sasikumar, Roth, Markus, Fernandez, Juan C., and Swinhoe, Martyn Thomas. Characterizing laser-plasma ion accelerators driving an intense neutron beam via nuclear signatures. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-39054-z.
Favalli, Andrea, Guler, Nevzat, Henzlova, Daniela Constance, Croft, Stephen, Falk, K., Gautier, Daniel Cort, Ianakiev, Kiril Dimitrov, Iliev, Metodi, Palaniyappan, Sasikumar, Roth, Markus, Fernandez, Juan C., & Swinhoe, Martyn Thomas. Characterizing laser-plasma ion accelerators driving an intense neutron beam via nuclear signatures. United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-39054-z.
Favalli, Andrea, Guler, Nevzat, Henzlova, Daniela Constance, Croft, Stephen, Falk, K., Gautier, Daniel Cort, Ianakiev, Kiril Dimitrov, Iliev, Metodi, Palaniyappan, Sasikumar, Roth, Markus, Fernandez, Juan C., and Swinhoe, Martyn Thomas. Thu . "Characterizing laser-plasma ion accelerators driving an intense neutron beam via nuclear signatures". United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-39054-z. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1496749.
@article{osti_1496749,
title = {Characterizing laser-plasma ion accelerators driving an intense neutron beam via nuclear signatures},
author = {Favalli, Andrea and Guler, Nevzat and Henzlova, Daniela Constance and Croft, Stephen and Falk, K. and Gautier, Daniel Cort and Ianakiev, Kiril Dimitrov and Iliev, Metodi and Palaniyappan, Sasikumar and Roth, Markus and Fernandez, Juan C. and Swinhoe, Martyn Thomas},
abstractNote = {Compact, bright neutron sources are opening up several emerging applications including detection of nuclear materials for national security applications. At Los Alamos National Laboratory, we have used a short-pulse laser to accelerate deuterons in the relativistic transparency regime. These deuterons impinge on a beryllium converter to generate neutrons. During the initial experiments where these neutrons were used for active interrogation of uranium and plutonium, we observed β-delayed neutron production from decay of 9Li, formed by the high-energy deuteron bombardment of the beryllium converter. Analysis of the delayed neutrons provides novel evidence of the divergence of the highest energy portion of the deuterons (i.e., above 10 MeV/nucleon) from the laser axis, a documented feature of the breakout afterburner laser-plasma ion acceleration mechanism. Furthermore, these delayed neutrons form the basis of non-intrusive diagnostics for determining the features of deuteron acceleration as well as monitoring neutron production for the next generation of laser-driven neutron sources.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-019-39054-z},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = 1,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {2}
}

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