Figure 1: Nature Communications

Fig. 1

From: Micro-scale fusion in dense relativistic nanowire array plasmas

Fig. 1

SEM image and 3D PIC simulation of energy distribution of deuterons. a SEM image of an array of 200 nm diameter CD2 nanowires. bd Three-dimensional particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation of the evolution of the energy distribution of deuterons in an array of 400 nm diameter CD2 nanowires irradiated at an intensity of 8 × 1019 W cm−2 by an ultra-high contrast λ = 400 nm laser pulse of 60 fs FWHM duration. The laser pulses penetrate deep into the array where they rapidly heat the nanowires to extreme temperatures, causing the nanowires to explode (Fig. 1c, d). Deuterons are rapidly accelerated into the voids up to MeV energies, producing D–D fusion reactions and characteristic 2.45 MeV neutrons. Times are measured with respect to the peak of the laser pulse. The average density of the nanowire array corresponds to 16% solid density