A Liquid Jet Target for a Laser Driven Proton Source
Small Business Information
1912 MacArthur Street, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, 90275
Abstract70867 The advent of high intensity lasers using chirped pulse amplification has allowed for the creation of highly energetic electrons in plasma, generated at the interaction site between the laser and a solid target. These high energy electrons are subsequently responsible for the acceleration of protons. Currently, the primary targets in use are solid foils and gas jets. However, the solid targets quickly become damaged, and the gas targets are limited in the number of available electrons due to low density and low charge of the target. This project will develop and test a liquid jet target system that strikes a balance in the tradeoff between the large number of electrons available to create the electron sheath in a solid and the constant replenishment of a gas jet. The chief advantage of a liquid jet as a laser target is the high proton yield without consequential material damage. In Phase I, appropriate target jet fluids will be identified, and the jet formation process will be numerically modeled using commercial fluid dynamics codes that include the possibility of jet nozzle shaping to provide proton focusing. The target chamber that will house the liquid jet and the laser optics in a moderate vacuum environment will be designed, and a program of experimental investigations to be carried out in Phase II will be planned. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: A high-yield, compact proton source producing a high-quality beam should have many uses in nuclear and high energy physics, as well as in industry and medicine. Areas of application include: (1) fast-ignitor fusion energy production; (2) laser triggered nuclear reactions of fusion, radiative capture, fission, charge exchange, pick-up, and stripping; (3) high-current (~ 1 kA) ion injectors for conventional and advanced accelerators; (4) development of compact neutron source; (5) basic studies of radio-chemistry and radio-biology; (6) hadron cancer radiotherapy; and (7) radioisotope production for nuclear medicine.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.