CNT-Based D2 Ion Source for Improved Neutron and Photon Generator
Applied Nanotech, Inc. (ANI) proposes to develop a novel field ionization technology to produce a deuterium ion (D+) current for a neutron source or gamma-ray source enabling fast switching, high repetition rate and high yields. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) have a high aspect ratio structure (they are long and narrow) that induces high electric field concentration, thus they are ideal choices for electron field emission, electron field desorption and field ionization applications. In Phase I, the ANI team demonstrated the feasibility of a field ionization CNT-based ion source for neutron generator applications. We demonstrated an ion source that can generate about 1 microamp/cm2 with variable pulse width and short pulse cut-off time (less than 4 microseconds). In addition we demonstrated neutron generation using this approach with count rates greater than 3 sigma above background levels. This Phase II program is intended to improve the ion source by achieving higher current densities (needed to make the source small to be competitive with existing COTS neutron sources), longer life and high atomic ion ratio. The program is also intended to design, build and demonstrate a neutron source with a yield of at least 107 n/sec, sufficient yield to show that this source approach can be scaled to higher yields with a design that is simple and inexpensive to manufacture.
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