ALICE – UCLA, California (USA)

Inertial confinement fusion chamber

ALICE – UCLA, California (USA)
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Inertial confinement fusion, unlike tokamak fusion, is based on dense pellets of fuel, targeted by high-power lasers. The project I was involved required the commissioning and exploitation of a plasma gun to study the condensation time after a fusion reaction in a fusion chamber, experiment called ALICE (Advanced Liquid Ionized Condensation Experiment).


  • Mechanical design and assembly: design of the four ALICE components: 1) pulse forming network, 145kJ of energy delivered in 100μs by a bank of capacitors; 2) the plasma source, a hollow cylinder made of the material to be ablated; 3) condensation chamber, cylindrical modules to allow the expansion of the plasma; 4) the acquisition system. 2 PhD students, 1 technician
  • Purchase: definition and quote evaluation for a suitable power supply, shielding and safety mechanisms, and pressure fast gauges.
  • Pellets manufacturing: in glow-box, construction of pellets with the specific dose of components to be exploded in the ALICE experiment. Author of the internal safety procedure (accepted by the UCLA safety authority) for the use of Beryllium. 100% microscope control of the pellets.


  • Implementation of labview routines for the sequence of discharges, and matlab routines for the data acquisition and analysis.
  • The experiment led to publications and was used to resolve the issue of the feasibility of an Inertial Confinement Reactor with FLiBe (2 LiF, 1 BeF2) pellets.