Initiation de réactions nucléaires par des protons accélérés par laser

Abstract : The recent development of high-intensity laser beams has stimulated the advent of many schemes to produce nuclear reactions by laser. Laser pulses with intensity higher than 1018 W.cm-2 can particularly be used to accelerate proton and ion beams with interesting characteristics such as a broad spectrum, a short duration (~ 10ps), a large number of particles per picosecond and a high energy cut-off, up to tens MeV. Thus, nuclear reactions with resonances close to hundreds keV can be initiated, such as the p-11B fusion reaction which releases 8.7MeV and three alpha particles, or, such as threshold reactions with produce positron emitters, used in nuclear medicine. This thesis was dedicated to the development of an experimental platform at the ELFIE laser facility, at LULI (Ecole Polytechnique, France) to study the production of nuclear reactions using the following scheme: a proton beam is accelerated by the TNSA mechanism on a first target, and sent into a boron target to induce nuclear reactions. A second laser beam can be used to ionize and heat the boron target. A set of complementary diagnostics has been developed to measure and characterize the reaction products. Several parameters such as the proton flux, the proton spectrum, the boron target state (solid or plasma) and its composition were studied in order to identify the physics parameters that optimize the number of reactions. The understanding of the physics that govern the production of reactions in this scheme is necessary to consider applications in medicine or in fusion schemes, to produce energy.
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Claire Baccou. Initiation de réactions nucléaires par des protons accélérés par laser. Physique des plasmas [physics.plasm-ph]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016SACLX016⟩. ⟨tel-01480939⟩

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