A multi-MeV alpha particle source via protonboron fusion driven by a 10-GW tabletop laser

Valeria Istokskaia, Marco Tosca, L. Giuffrida, J. Psikal, Vasiliki Kantarelou, Filip Grepl, Stanislav Stancek, Sabrina Di Siena, Arsenios Hadjikyriacou, Aodhan McIlvenny, Yoann Levy, Jaroslav Huynh, Martin Cimrman, Pavel Pleskunov, Daniil Nikitin, A. Choukourov, Fabio Belloni, Antonino Picciotto, Satyabrata Kar, Marco BorghesiAntonio Lucianetti, Tomas Mocek, Daniele Margarone*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Nuclear fusion between protons and boron-11 nuclei has undergone a revival of interest thanks to the rapid progress in pulsed laser technology. Potential applications of such reaction range from controlled nuclear fusion to radiobiology and cancer therapy. A laser- driven fusion approach consists in the interaction of high-power, high-intensity pulses with H- and B-rich targets. We report on an experiment exploiting proton-boron fusion in CN-BN targets to obtain high-energy alpha particle beams (up to 5 MeV) using a very compact approach and a tabletop laser system with a peak power of ~10 GW, which can operate at high-repetition rate (up to 1 kHz). The secondary resonance in the cross section of proton- boron fusion (~150 keV in the center-of-mass frame) is exploited using a laser-based approach. The generated alpha particles are characterized in terms of energy, flux, and angular distribution using solid-state nuclear-track detectors, demonstrating a flux of ~105 particles per second at 10 Hz, and ~10 6 per second at 1 kHz. Hydrodynamic and particle-in-cell numerical simulations support our experimental findings. Potential impact of our approach on future spread of ultra-compact, multi-MeV alpha particle sources driven by moderate intensity (10 16 -1017 W/cm 2 ) laser pulses is anticipated.
Original languageEnglish
Article number27
JournalCommunications Physics
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 02 Feb 2023

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