Efficient Neutron Production from a Novel Configuration of Deuterium Gas-Puff Z-Pinch
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A novel configuration of a deuterium z pinch has been used to generate fusion neutrons. Injecting an outer hollow cylindrical plasma shell around an inner deuterium gas puff, neutron yields from DD reactions reached Y-n = (2.9 +/- 0.3) x 10(12) at 700 ns implosion time and 2.7 MA current. Such a neutron yield means a tenfold increase in comparison with previous deuterium gas puff experiments at the same current generator. The increase of beam-target yields was obtained by a larger amount of current assembled on the z-pinch axis, and subsequently by higher induced voltage and higher energies of deuterons. A stack of CR-39 track detectors on the z-pinch axis showed hydrogen ions up to 38 MeV. Maximum neutron energies of 15 and 22 MeV were observed by radial and axial time-of-flight detectors, respectively. The number of DD neutrons per one joule of stored plasma energy approached 5 x 10(7). This implies that deuterium gas puff z pinches belong to the most efficient plasma-based sources of DD neutrons.
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