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Relativistic acceleration of micro-foils with prospects for fast ignition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 March 2012

Shalom Eliezer*
Soreq NRC, Yavne Israel and Institute of Nuclear Fusion, Polytechnic University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Shalom Eliezer, Institute of Nuclear Fusion, Polytechnic University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain. E-mail:


In this work, it is suggested that the ponderomotive force, induced by a multi-petawatt laser on the interface of a vacuum with solid target, can accelerate a micro-foil to relativistic velocities. The extremely high velocities of the micro-foil can be achieved due to the very short time duration (about a picosecond) of the laser pulse. This accelerated micro-foil is used to ignite a pre-compressed cylindrical shell containing the deuterium tritium fuel. The fast ignition is induced by a heat wave produced during the collision of the accelerated foil with the pre-compressed target. This approach has the advantage of separating geometrically the nanoseconds lasers that compress the target with the picosecond laser that accelerates the foil.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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