Neutron production certainly represents a striking example of femtotechnologies. Indeed, neutron size is close to one femtometer (10-15 m = 1 fm) while nuclei sizes are from 1 (Hydrogen) to 15 (Uranium) femtometers [1]. Neutrons are able to penetrate into the matter and initiate a variety of nuclear reactions (fission, capture, spallation, inelastic and elastic scattering, transmutation) in nuclei of all chemical elements. These femtoreactions in the matter change the chemical element composition that cannot be changed at the nanotechnology level!

Application of femtotechnologies

           High-energy (tens of MeV) and cold (micro-eV) free neutrons are needed for research purposes in the field of basic and material science, bio- and nanotechnologies. They are especially called for medicine, power engineering, isotope production and advanced nuclear fuel cycles [2, 3].

Femtomak is our device for femtotechnologies

           Powerful neutron sources are traditionally developed on the basis of fission reactors with thermal power up to 100 MW giving the intensity higher than  1018  neutrons per second [3, 4] and 1 GeV proton linear accelerators with power up to 1 MW and intensity of 1017 neutrons per second [5, 6].
           Both approaches are extremely expensive reaching the capital cost of 1.4 B$ for 1017 useful (free) neutrons per second (in 2006, construction year of the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge, USA [6]). Reactor and Spallation sources are constrained in further growth of their intensity by very high costs and engineering problems.
           We offer an innovative device for neutron production that we call Femtomak based on fusion reactions of deuterium and tritium nuclei in fully ionized plasma. Primary neutrons in the femtomak have energies 2.5 MeV for those produced in DD reactions and 14.1 MeV for the DT reaction case. The neutrons are moderated to the required level of the average energy down to the lowest values of microelectronvolts and then transported to the research/technology areas via neutron guide tubes.

Parameters of the research/technology neutron source - femtomak


Fusion reaction used

DD  DT    DT-boosted
  Intensity (n/s) 4×1015  4×1017 2 ×1018
  Primary neutron energy (MeV) 2.5  14.1  2
  Power of neutrons (MW) 0.006 1 0.7
  Shield radius (m)  3.0 4.0 4.5
  Electric power consumption  (MW) 30 30  30
  Operation mode continuous continuous continuous
  Installation area (m ×  m) 20 × 40 20 × 40 20 × 40

Delivery stages


Conceptual design

0.5 year
  Engineering and working drawings 1 year
  Construction  3.5 years


          Phone (fax) +7 812 5527954
          mail: v.sergeev@tuap-spb.com
          Web-site :   www.tuap-spb.com

         “You can make a neutron source, of course. However, you will make it faster with us” – Boris Kuteev, Director.

For further details please see the presentation given at the Third Fusion-Fission Hybrids Workshop, University of Maryland, March 9-11, 2009
and comments


  1. David L. Bergman, Observations of the Properties of Physical Entities
    A. Zimmerman Jones. Neutron
  2. WWW site of Kyoto University, Application of neutrons to science and industry
    Jerome M. Verbeke. Development of high-intensity D-D and D-T neutron sources and
    neutron filters for medical and industrial applications
  3. Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) web site
  4. Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) WWW page