Berkeley Lab

Fusion Science, High Energy Density Physics, and NDCX-II

An arena for “the X Games of contemporary science”

ATAP pioneered the use of heavy-ion induction linacs in the quest for inertial fusion energy (IFE) as a future power source, collaborating closely with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Our latest experimental facility’s beam parameters, and the expertise we had developed, proved to be a natural match for the emergent science of high-energy-density physics (HEDP), dubbed “the X Games of contemporary science” by a National Research Council committee.


The Neutralized Drift Compression Experiment-II delivers intense, short pulses of ion beams with kinetic energy up to 1.2 MeV. With focusing and drift compression — beam manipulations that we studied for fusion-energy purposes — this enables uniform heating of 2-micron-thick targets to a temperature of 1 eV. These capabilities are beginning to be put to use. More >

An Invitation to HEDP Users

NDCX-II_simgrab_325x290yNDCX-II’s tunability, range of ion species (e.g., He, Li, K, Cs), kinetic energy (0.1 to 1.2 MeV), spot size (from less than 1 to as high as 10 mm2, and pulse length (from less than 1 to over 600 ns) can create excitation conditions across physical regimes of HEDP interest, from isolated collision cascades, through the onset of order-disorder phase transitions, to warm-dense-matter states. More >

NDCX-II and Materials Science for Fusion Energy

IFE_plant_concept_detail_200x193yFusion energy, whether inertially or magnetically confined, has long been attractive for its environmental sustainability and the near unlimited supply of “fuel.” Most of the energy comes out in the form of neutrons at much higher energy than those from a fission reactor. Materials that can withstand them, and/or become less activated, will be needed. Fundamentals relevant to this important R&D area can be studied with NDCX-II. More >