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Repetitive Solid Spherical Pellet Injection and Irradiation toward the Repetitive-mode Fast-Ignition Fusion mini-Reactor CANDY.
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Pellet injection and repetitive laser illumination are key technologies for realizing inertial fusion energy[1-4]. Neutron generator using lasers also requires a repeating pellet target supplier. Here we present the first demonstration of target injection and neutron generation. We injected more than 1300 spherical deuterated polystyrene(C8D8) bead pellet targets during 23 minutes at 1 Hz(Fig. 1). After the pellet targets fell for a distance of 18 cm, we applied the synchronized laser-diode-pumped ultra-intense laser HAMA. The laser intensity at the focal point is 5 x 10(18) W/cm(2), which is high enough to generate neutrons. As a result of the irradiation, we produced 2.45-MeV DD neutrons. Figure 2 shows the neutron time-of-flight signals detected by plastic scintillators coupled to photomultipliers. The neutron energy was calculated by the time-of-flight method. The maximum neutron yield was 9.5 x 10(4)/4 pi sr. The result is a step toward fusion power and also suggests possible industrial neutron sources.