A neutron generator includes a conductive substrate comprising a plurality of conductive nanostructures with free-standing tips and a source of an atomic species to introduce the atomic species in proximity to the free-standing tips. A target placed apart from the substrate is voltage biased relative to the substrate to ionize and accelerate the ionized atomic species toward the target. The target includes an element capable of a nuclear fusion reaction with the ionized atomic species to produce a one or more neutrons as a reaction by-product.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 awarded by the United States Department of Energy to The Regents of the University of California for management and operation of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The government has certain rights in this invention.