Nucleosynthesis driven by Coulomb explosion within a single nanodroplet

Isidore Last*, Joshua Jortner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We demonstrate that fusion and nucleosynthesis reactions between light and heavy nuclei driven by Coulomb explosion (CE) of nanodroplets will be dominated by intrananostructure collisions within a single, large heteronuclear nanodroplet (with initial radii of R0 =1000-3000 ) in ultraintense, near-infrared laser fields (peak intensities of IM = 1020 - 1021 W cm-2). A computational and theoretical study of the yields of the intrananodroplet T(d,n) 3 He4 fusion and C(p,γ) 12 N13 nucleosynthesis reactions driven by CE of (D+ T+) n and (C6+ H4+) n heteronuclear nanodroplets provides a manifestation of kinematic overrun effects. The T(d,n) 3 He4 fusion yield of YINTRA 200 per nanodroplet per laser pulse within a (DT) n nanodroplet (n=2× 109, R0 =2700 ) is sufficiently high to warrant experimental observation for a single nanodroplet. The C(p,γ) 12 N13 reaction yield within a (CH4) n nanodroplet (n=3.9× 108; R0 =1790 ) is YINTRA 4× 10-4 γ rays per nanodroplet per laser pulse, so that this intrananodroplet nucleosynthesis is amenable to experimental observation only in an assembly of such nanodroplets. A striking manifestation is provided for the absence of kinematic overrun effects in CE of (C6+ D4+) n nanodroplets (with a kinematic parameter ηDC =1), where intrananodroplet D+ + C6+ collisions and the C(d,n) 12 N13 reaction are precluded. CE driven intrananodroplet nuclear reaction involves transient temporal confinement of the heavy nuclei on the 10-20 fs time scale, with the heavy nuclei subcluster acting as a target for the expanding light protons or deuterons.

Original languageEnglish
Article number033201
JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 4 Mar 2008


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