An apparatus for the generation of neutron/gamma rays is described including a chamber which defines an ion source, said apparatus including an RF antenna positioned outside of or within the chamber. Positioned within the chamber is a target material. One or more sets of confining magnets are also provided to create a cross B magnetic field directly above the target. To generate neutrons/gamma rays, the appropriate source gas is first introduced into the chamber, the RF antenna energized and a plasma formed. A series of high voltage pulses are then applied to the target. A plasma sheath, which serves as an accelerating gap, is formed upon application of the high voltage pulse to the target. Depending upon the selected combination of source gas and target material, either neutrons or gamma rays are generated, which may be used for cargo inspection, and the like.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT
The invention described and claimed herein was made in part utilizing funds supplied by the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. The government has certain rights in this invention.