Advanced Inertial Fusion Energy Target Designs and Driver Development

Default ARPA-E Project Image

Rochester, New York
Project Term:
06/18/2020 - 06/17/2023

Technology Description:

The University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics ($1.75M) and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) ($1.75M) will advance inertial fusion energy (IFE) by developing (1) innovative direct-drive, high-bandwidth, high-gain target designs using high-bandwidth laser technologies with < 1 MJ of laser input energy, and (2) high-efficiency, high-bandwidth IFE drivers to eventually enable experimental demonstration of the advanced target designs. The new laser-driver technologies, including both diode-pumped solid-state and excimer lasers, are expected to mitigate laser-plasma instabilities, potentially allowing for greater and more-symmetric energy coupling to the target. This work leverages the multiple decades of investment into inertial confinement fusion (ICF), which has achieved high values of fusion triple product, and will help place ICF on a path toward lower-cost IFE. The DOE Office of Science, Fusion Energy Sciences, is jointly supporting this work, contributing an additional $1.25M each to the University of Rochester and NRL.

Potential Impact:

Accelerating and lowering the costs of fusion development and eventual deployment will enable fusion energy to contribute to:


Fusion energy will ensure the U.S.’s technological lead and energy security.


Fusion energy will improve our chances of meeting growing global clean-energy demand and realizing cost-effective, net-zero carbon emissions, while minimizing pollution and avoiding long-lived radioactive waste.


As a disruptive technology, fusion energy will likely create new markets, opportunities, and export advantages for the U.S.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Ahmed Diallo
Project Contact:
Valeri Goncharov
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:

Related Projects

Release Date: