Advanced Energy Technology Group
Center for Energy Research

Research Programs

We lead a national US activity on integrated assessments of fusion concepts as attractive commercial fusion power plants and help guide national fusion R&D. The assessments combine plasma physics, neutronics, component design, systems engineering, economics, and safety analyses.
IFE Technology
The IFE Technology program seeks to solve critical problems for enabling technologies of inertial fusion energy. Our contributions to the DOE/DP High Average Power Laser Program include modeling and damage testing of grazing-incidence metal mirrors as final optical elements, multi-dimensional numerical modeling of chamber dynamic responses, and chamber materials damage studies. We are also supported by the DOE Office of Fusion Energy Sciences to study magnetic diversion of expanding plasmas and the formation and transport of aerosol and dust in IFE chambers.
Thermal Sciences
The Thermal Sciences program seeks improvements in energy efficiency and heat flux handling capability of thermal energy systems. The principal research activities include experiments and modeling of heat transfer and energy efficiency using engineered porous and granular media.
Laser-Matter Interactions
Our basic and applied studies of laser-matter interactions fall into three categories: (1) dynamic response of surfaces exposed to short-pulse high-energy laser irradiation, (2) laser ablation plume dynamics, and (3) cluster formation in ablation plumes. In addition to their relevance to inertial fusion energy, these studies are relevant to materials processing in the fields of surface modification, thin film deposition and nanoparticle production.
Laser-Plasma and Laser-Matter Interactions Laboratory
The Laser-Plasma and Laser-Matter Interactions Laboratory is used for a broad range of experimental studies involving laser interactions with solids, liquids, gases and plasma. At present, the major scientific thrust areaas include surface modification and optics damage, ablation plume dynamics, nanocluster formation, laser propagation physics, IFE chamber materials damage and IFE chamber dynamic simulation studies. Follow this link to learn more about lab facilities and equipment.