Expansion of nanoplasmas and laser-driven nuclear fusion in single exploding clusters

F. Peano*, J. L. Martins, R. A. Fonseca, F. Peinetti, R. Mulas, G. Coppa, I. Last, J. Jortner, L. O. Silva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The expansion of laser-irradiated clusters or nanodroplets depends strongly on the amount of energy delivered to the electrons and can be controlled by using appropriately shaped laser pulses. In this paper, a self-consistent kinetic model is used to analyze the transition from quasi-neutral, hydrodynamic-like expansion regimes to the Coulomb explosion (CE) regime when increasing the ratio between the thermal energy of the electrons and the electrostatic energy stored in the cluster. It is shown that a suitable double-pump irradiation scheme can produce hybrid expansion regimes, wherein a slow hydrodynamic expansion is followed by a fast CE, leading to ion overtaking and producing multiple ion flows expanding with different velocities. This can be exploited to obtain intracluster fusion reactions in both homonuclear deuterium clusters and heteronuclear deuterium-tritium clusters, as also proved by three-dimensional molecular-dynamics simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124049
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2008


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