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We present detailed characterization of laser driven fusion and neutron production (∼105/second) employing 8 mJ, 40fs laser pulses on a thin (< 1 µm) D2O liquid sheet employing a measurement suite. At relativistic intensity (∼5×1018W/cm2) and high repetition-rate (1 kHz), the system produces consistent D-D fusion, allowing for consistent neutron generation. Evidence of D-D fusion neutron production is verified b y a measurement suite with three independent detection systems: an EJ-309 organic scintillator with pulse-shape discrimination, a 3He proportional counter, and a set of 36 bubble detectors. Time-of-flight analysis of the scintillator data shows the energy of the produced neutrons to be consistent with 2.45 MeV. Particle-in-cell simulations using the WarpX code support significant neutron production from D-D fusion events in the laser-target interaction region. This high-repetition-rate laser-driven neutron source could provide a low-cost, on-demand test bed for radiation hardening and imaging applications.


© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press in association with Chinese Laser Press.

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY 4), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

The article date 15 November 2023 refers to the article publication date (ahead of print) on the Cambridge University Press website, as found through the DOI link below. The eventual inclusion in an issue occurred in early 2024.

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High Power Laser Science and Engineering