Observation of Nuclear Fusion Driven by a Pyroelectric Crystal

Tech ID: 20155 / UC Case 2005-363-0

Summary

UCLA scientists have developed a tabletop system capable of generating small-scale nuclear fusion.

Background

Experiments proclaiming to provide nuclear fusion in tabletop systems generated significant criticism from the physics community, as typically large reactors employing magnetic and inertial confinement are necessary to produce fusion reliably. Some examples, such as cold fusion and bubble fusion, yield irreproducible results and have encountered deep skepticism.

Innovation

Researchers at UCLA have identified a method for generating fusion under desktop condition by using the extremely large electric fields produced during the heating of a pyroelectric crystal to accelerate deuterium ions into collisions that generate the fusion.

Applications

  • Palm-sized neutron generator
  • Electrostatic fusion devices
  • Microthrusters for miniature spacecraft

Advantages

  • Only requires a very small amount (centimeter-sized) of active material for operation
  • Produces a neutron flux over 400 times the background level

State of Development

Nuclear fusion has been generated through the described method.

Related Materials

  • Observation of nuclear fusion driven by a pyroelectric crystal, B. Naranjo, J.K. Gimzewski, and S. Putterman, Nature 434, 1115-1117 (2005) [more]

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 8,396,181 03/12/2013 2005-363
 

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Inventors

  • Putterman, Seth J.

Other Information

Keywords

electrical, process/procedure, fusion, bench-top, cleantech

Categorized As