Ultrashort pulsed neutron source

I. Pomerantz*, E. McCary, A. R. Meadows, A. Arefiev, A. C. Bernstein, C. Chester, J. Cortez, M. E. Donovan, G. Dyer, E. W. Gaul, D. Hamilton, D. Kuk, A. C. Lestrade, C. Wang, T. Ditmire, B. M. Hegelich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report on a novel compact laser-driven neutron source with an unprecedented short pulse duration (<50ps) and high peak flux (>1018n/cm2/s), an order of magnitude higher than any existing source. In our experiments, high-energy electron jets are generated from thin (<3μm) plastic targets irradiated by a petawatt laser. These intense electron beams are employed to generate neutrons from a metal converter. Our method opens venues for enhancing neutron radiography contrast and for creating astrophysical conditions of heavy element synthesis in the laboratory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number184801
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number18
StatePublished - 27 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyW31P4Q13C0221
National Nuclear Security AdministrationDE-NA0002008


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