A laptop neutron source suited for the most demanding field or laboratory applications is presented. It is based on laser ablation of CD2 primary targets, plasma acceleration of the D+ ions, and their irradiation of secondary CD2 targets. The deuterium–deuterium (D-D) fusion reaction is induced in the secondary target, according to the values of fusion cross-section versus deuteron energy, which show a significant probability also at relatively low ion energies. The experiments were completed in the PALS laboratory, Prague, detecting monoenergetic neutrons at 2.45 MeV with an emission flux of about 109 neutrons per laser shot. Other experiments demonstrating the possibility to induce D-D events were performed at IPPLM, Warsaw, and at INFN-LNS, Catania, where the deuterons were accelerated at about 4 MeV and 50 keV, respectively. In the last case, a low laser intensity and a post-ion acceleration system were employed. A special interaction chamber, under vacuum, is proposed to develop a new source of monochromatic neutrons or thermalized distribution of neutrons.
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