Application of Plasma-Window Technology to Enable an Ultra-High-Flux DT Neutron Source

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Monona, Wisconsin
Project Term:
03/07/2021 - 03/07/2023

Critical Need:

For more than 60 years, fusion research and development (R&D) has focused on attaining the required fuel density, temperature, and energy confinement time of the plasma fuel of a viable fusion energy system. Currently, relatively modest investments have been made in the required and equally critical enabling technologies and advanced materials surrounding the plasma fuel. The GAMOW program supports innovative R&D that will help establish both the technical and commercial viability of (i) all the required technologies and subsystems between the fusion plasma and the balance of plant, (ii) cost-effective, high-efficiency, high-duty-cycle driver technologies, and (iii) novel fusion materials and advanced manufacturing of these materials.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

No technology available today can provide the neutron flux, energy spectrum, and other characteristics required to test and qualify materials’ performance under prototypical fusion operating conditions. The fusion community acknowledges the need for a materials test facility soon or risk a crippling impact on the ability to effectively design and test a fusion pilot plant. Phoenix will seek to increase the neutron flux by a factor of 100 over that of state-of-the-art beam-target fusion neutron sources by developing and testing a plasma window (PW) to enable an increase in the pressure of the gas target. The PW should be ready for integration with a commercial steady-state, gas-target neutron generator by project end. This combination may ultimately enable a cost-effective, groundbreaking, “fusion prototypic neutron source” to generate the representative neutron-irradiation environment of a fusion power plant. This will enable tests to accelerate fusion materials and small-component development, offering the potential to reduce the technical, financial, and regulatory risks of fusion-energy technologies.

Potential Impact:

Successful development of fusion energy science and technology could lead to a safe, carbon-free, abundant energy source for developed and emerging economies.


The GAMOW program will advance American leadership in fusion energy science and technology.


If successfully developed and commercialized, fusion energy can provide abundant, zero-carbon energy.


Advances in GAMOW’s technical areas will help accelerate progress toward commercial fusion energy and a new zero-carbon energy economy.


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


Brookhaven National Laboratory

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