Fuel encapsulation for Inertial Electrostatic Confinement nuclear fusion reactors

Christopher MacLeod, Niccolo F. Capanni, Kenneth S. Gow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) is an approach to nuclear fusion which utilises the properties of electrostatically accelerated ion-beams instead of hot plasmas. The best known device which uses the principle is the Farnsworth-Hirsch fusor. It has been argued that such devices have some potential advantages in spaceflight and in-particular as power-supplies for trans-atmospheric propulsion. This paper builds on previous work in the field and focuses on how the fixing of the fuel for such reactors in a solid, liquid or encapsulated form may provide a high enough energy-density to make such devices practical power sources. Several methods of fixing the fuel are discussed; theoretical calculations are presented and applicable literature is reviewed. Finally, there is a discussion of practical issues and feasibility, together with suggestions for further work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-149
Number of pages11
JournalJBIS - Journal of the British Interplanetary Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Fuseotron
  • Fusors
  • Inertial Electrostatic Confinement
  • Nuclear fusion
  • Power
  • Propulsion


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