Optimization of fusion pellet launch velocity in an electrothermal mass accelerator

T. E. Gebhart, R. T. Holladay, M. J. Esmond, A. L. Winfrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Electrothermal mass accelerators, based on capillary discharges, that form a plasma propelling force from the ablation of a low-z liner material are candidates for fuelling magnetic fusion reactors. As lithium is considered a fusion fuel and not an impurity, lithium hydride and lithium deuteride can serve as good ablating liners for plasma formation in an electrothermal plasma source to propel fusion pellets. A comprehensive study of solid lithium hydride and deuteride as liner materials to generate a plasma to propel cryogenic fuel pellets is presented here. This study was conducted using the ETFLOW capillary discharge code. Relationships between propellants, source and barrel geometry, pellet volume and aspect ratio, and pellet velocity are determined for pellets ranging in volume from 5 to 100 mm3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Fusion Energy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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