Unveiling the properties of warm dense matter

Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) is a well-established research field that addresses the urgent need of new energy generation sources.

ICF attempts to initiate nuclear fusion reactions by spherical implosion of fuel targets through a set of shock waves. Because of fuel instability during compression, fusion has proved to be difficult to achieve so far. First Light Fusion (FLF) corporation is exploring alternative research directions that harness the same fundamental physics.

The understanding of the physical properties of fusion plasmas and the material and target conditions involved in producing and confining the plasmas is of crucial importance to the successful demonstration of fusion and its future development as an energy source.

We propose here to use ns time resolved X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy to characterise the properties of high-Z metals (Fe, Cu and Ta) subjected to high-power laser shock and release, exploiting the unique capabilities of the new High Power Laser Facility (HPLF) at the ESRF. HPLF will couple a 100 J ns laser to the X-ray Absorption beamline ID24. XANES (X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy), is an ideal technique to investigate matter under extreme pressures and temperatures, as it can bring invaluable information on the evolution of the electronic structure around the Fermi level.

This project is relevant both for fundamental science and industrial science. The outputs will be first time data that will allow to constrain presently struggling theoretical models, and characterize metallic cavities that are used by FLF to transport and couple energy into the deuterium tritium fuel.



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Sofia Balugani is working on unveiling the properties of Warm Dense Matter for energy generation by fusions project. This project sees collaboration between the ESRF, First Light Fusion and the Ecole Polytechnique