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High-energy Coulomb explosions in ultra-dense deuterium: Time-of-flight-mass spectrometry with variable energy and flight length

Journal article
Authors Shahriar Badiei
Patrik U Andersson
Leif Holmlid
Published in International Journal of Mass Spectrometry
Volume 282
Pages 70-76
Publication year 2009
Published at Department of Chemistry
Pages 70-76
Language en
Keywords Deuterium, Ultra-dense deuterium, Coulomb explosion, Kinetic energy release
Subject categories Chemical physics


High-density hydrogen is of great interest both as a fuel with the highest energy content of any combustion fuel, and as a target material for laser initiated inertial confinement fusion (ICF) [S. Badiei, L. Holmlid, J. Fusion Energ. 27 (2008) 296]. A much denser deuterium material named D(−1) can be observed by pulsed laser induced Coulomb explosions giving a well-defined, high kinetic energy release (KER). Neutral time-of-flight of the fragments from the material shows that the Coulomb explosions have a KER of 630 eV [S. Badiei, P.U. Andersson, L. Holmlid, Int. J. Hydrogen Energ. 34 (2009) 487]. By using ion time-of-flight-mass spectrometry (TOF-MS) with variable acceleration voltages and a few different values of laser pulse power, we now prove the mass and charge of the particles as well as the KER. In fact, the ions are so fast that they must be H+, D+ or T+. By using two different flight lengths, we prove with certainty that the spectra are due to D+ ions and not to photons or electromagnetic effects. The results also establish the fragmentation patterns of the ultra-dense D(−1) material in the electric field. The energy release of 630 ± 30 eV corresponds to an interatomic distance D–D of 2.3 ± 0.1 pm. This material is probably an inverted metal with the deuterons moving in the field from the stationary electrons, which gives a predicted interatomic distance of 2.5 pm, close to the measured value. Thus, we prove that an ultra-dense deuterium material exists.

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