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The Table-Top Source for Nuclear Reactions


The Table-Top Source for Nuclear Reactions, Initiated by the Multi-TW Picosecond Laser

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-OPL/Optics and Lasers/Physics

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov

Supporting institutes

  • Vavilov State Optical Institute (GOI) / Research Institute for Complex Testing of Optical Devices, Russia, Leningrad reg., Sosnovy Bor


  • JAERI / Naka Fusion Research Establishment / Department of Fusion Plasma Research, Japan, Naka\nUniversity of Michigan / Center for Ultrafast Optical Science, USA, MI, Ann Arbor

Project summary

Project objective.

The idea of laser application for ion acceleration and excitation of nuclear reactions was already offered at the end of 80-th. However, realization (putting into practice) of this idea was not so easy and practical activities were started only recently. The experimental results show that ions with the energy above several MeV are generated in laser-plasma interaction, when laser intensity is more then 1018 W/cm2. The theoretical estimations showed that this process could be used in nucleus physics, medicine and biology. The advantage of these ions in comparison with the accelerated electrons is ability of the ions to participate in the strong interaction with higher cross section. The goal of the proposed researches is the method development of nuclear reactions excitation by the accelerated ions. The final result of this development is table – top source of hard X-ray radiation, g-quanta and neutrons on the base of picosecond laser.

Expected results and their applications.

It is possible to carry out in the framework of this Project the theoretical and experimental modeling of ultra-short laser pulse interaction with targets of various configuration and materials. The following results would be obtained:

– the experimental data on spectrums of fast electrons, hard X-ray and gamma-quanta up to the energy of tens MeV;

– the method development of energy spectrum control of g-quanta and particles, generated in the laser interaction with matter;
– the theoretical model of the pulse source of g-quanta and fast particles with ultra-short duration;
– the laser-plasma source development of neutrons, positrons and g-quanta with high brightness;
– the technical proposals on the design of "mini-reactor" for the isotope production on the base of powerful laser.

Meeting ISTC Goals and Objectives.

The Project completely corresponds to the ISTC goals:

– the project provides to Russian scientists and engineers, who had been engaged in weapon development, an opportunity to redirect their talents to peaceful activities;
– the result of the given project has a commercial potential and consequently undoubtedly promotes the transition to the market economy;
– scientific results, presented in the open publications and reported on the international conferences will encourage the Russian weapon scientists and engineers to be involved into the international scientific community.

Foreign collaborators.

Consent to be a collaborator of the project received from:

Professor Donald Umstadter, Center for Ultrafast Optical Science, University of Michigan, USA;
Dr. Yasuaki Kishimoto, Department of Fussion Plasma Research, Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute, Ibaraki, Japan.

Technical Approach and Methodology.

The intensities 1019–1021 W/cm2 on the target surface are observed when 1 ps laser pulse is focused on the 10 µm spot. At such intensities the significant part of laser energy is transformed into the energy of plasma waves which damping leads to the generation of fast electrons and acceleration of ions up to the energy of MeV order. The result of high-power ion interaction with different targets is neutrons, isotopes and g-quanta generation. Besides, laser plasma can be a source of the hard X-ray radiation. Thereby, it is possible to develop the compact source of hard X-ray radiation, g-quanta and neutrons on the base of table – top femptosecond laser. Such source can be used in medicine, biology and nucleus physics.

For realization of this task it is necessary:

– the model development of ultra-short laser pulse interaction with solid target;
– the detailed spectrum researches of fast electrons and ions, generated in the ultra-short laser interaction with various targets;
– the researches of electron spectrum control possibility due to the variation of laser pulse spatial profile and duration.

The experimental researches will be carried out on the “Progress-P” laser installation (NIIKI OEP) with intensity 1019 W/cm2. We propose to upgrade laser facility in the framework of this project. In this case the researches of laser radiation interaction with solid targets at intensities up to 1020 W/cm2 will be possible. The target fabrication, as well as diagnostics of interaction parameters will be conducted on the base of technologies, developed in RFNC-VNIIEF. It is expected to analyze the experiments and to develop the physics-mathematical models on the base of NIIKI OEP and RFNC-VNIIEF theoretical researches.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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