Photonis, a leading electro-optic manufacturer, has supplied key instrumentation that has aided in the achievement of laser fusion ignition. On December 13th, 2022, The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced the first-ever, controlled laser fusion reaction to produce scientific energy breakeven, achieved at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) National Ignition Facility (NIF). This major scientific breakthrough, decades in the making, provides unprecedented capability to support NIF’s national security mission and invaluable insights into the prospects of clean fusion energy. This monumental achievement is the first step to a possible future of a net-zero carbon footprint.
|Photonis & LLNL|
Successful detection of the reaction was made possible with key instrumentation supplied by Photonis. The instruments: Stripline Microchannel Plates (SL-MCPs) and Streak Tubes, were integrated into various diagnostic systems installed within the fusion reactor to detect both x-rays and visible light that were emitted from the reaction. The detection of these signals contributes to determining the resulting energy yield.
Stripline MCPs used in the Diagnostic System are equipped with electrode strips to allow the propagation of high frequency electrical fields along the strips. The electrode strips provide the ability to sequentially turn on each microchannel as fast as the electrical charge can permeate the surface, producing high speed sequential images.
Streak Tubes are unique devices for capturing and measuring ultra-fast light phenomena. Photonis Streak tubes can be applied in streak, framing, or synchroscan-modes, with a wide range of available photocathodes for detection from low energy X-ray to near infrared. The high sensitivity, low-noise photocathodes provide high uniformity, excellent signal-to-noise ratio, and a high shutter ratio, while bilamellar electro-optics support (sub) pico-second temporal and extremely high spatial resolution. These characteristics are ideal for capturing low-level light signals such as the ones emitted by the fusion reaction.
Photonis is proud to be part of this exciting achievement. With its high level of expertise, Photonis’ engineers will continue to contribute to overcoming the limits of science and work towards getting tomorrow’s clean fusion energy running!
Learn More about LLNL’s Fusion Ignition Success Here: National Ignition Facility achieves fusion ignition | Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (llnl.gov)
Photonis is a market-leading provider of electro-optic solutions used in the detection and amplification of photons, ions, electrons, and neutrons. We innovate and engineer quality technologies for integration into a wide-variety of applications, such as night vision optics, digital cameras, mass spectrometry, nuclear instrumentation, life-science and physics research, space exploration, and many others. With over 80 years of experience of partnering with our customers to provide the world’s leading detection systems, Photonis has the experience to meet the specific challenges of the many markets we serve.
Dr. Emile Schyns
Director of Innovation