Rising to the occasion: fusion ignition-enabling materials and manufacturing, and what’s next

R. Dylla Spears
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,
United States

Keywords: Fusion ignition


Fusion ignition, a major milestone for the scientific grand challenge of inertial confinement fusion (ICF), was achieved at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on December 5, 2022. Recent ICF successes build on decades of research, advancing knowledge across multiple fields. These experiments rely on the National Ignition Facility (NIF), a 192-beam laser facility capable of delivering precisely tuned pulses of up to 2 MJ peak power to a precision-engineered target. This recent breakthrough was enabled, in part, through key materials and manufacturing innovations in optics, lasers, targets, and diagnostics, realized in close partnership with industry. This talk will highlight the recent ICF results at NIF, as well as several important materials and manufacturing advancements that were crucial along this path to achieving ignition. It will also touch on materials opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for both fusion ignition as well as the next grand challenge: fusion energy. LLNL-ABS-847774