Department of Energy

Department of Energy logo.

The U.S. Department of Energy provides funding for many LLE research initiatives, including the following:

IFE-COLoR Logo on target shot photo background.
Depoartment of Energy Office of Science logo.


The Hub IFE-COLoR (Inertial Fusion Energy-Consortium on LPI Research) is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fusion Energy Science to advance research on inertial fusion energy science (IFE) and technology. Led by the University of Rochester, the Hub brings together a first-class lineup of experts from the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the private sector (Ergodic, LLC and Xcimer Energy Corporation, LLC) to build the scientific case that will determine a technologically viable path to IFE. Research will directly address the most significant science issues that currently pose challenges to the development of an IFE facility by setting the requirements for a direct-drive high-bandwidth laser driver that significantly reduces laser imprint and mitigates laser-plasma instabilities at IFE conditions.

The Hub will couple state-of-the-art laser technologies with advanced laser–plasma instability modeling and experiments guided by experimentally tested hydrodynamic simulations. “This is a tremendous opportunity for the University of Rochester and for scientists and students involved in inertial fusion,” says Dustin Froula, Director of the Plasma & Ultrafast Laser Science & Engineering Division at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics. The Hub will play a critical role in helping to steward the IFE ecosystem and diversifying the inertial fusion workforce through educational outreach at all levels. In particular, funding from this proposal will support an annual ten-week-long IFE Summer Undergraduate Research Program at LLE for 15 students each year to expand the pipeline of talented people into careers in IFE research.


LaserNetUS, North America’s high-intensity laser research network, was established in 2018 by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fusion Energy Sciences to provide scientists and students from the U.S. and abroad with access to high-power laser facilities across the United States and Canada that house some of the most powerful laser systems in the world, including the OMEGA EP Laser System. With over 1200 members, LaserNetUS “has been extremely successful in providing opportunities and capabilities that were largely unavailable to the broad community prior to the formation of this network,” says Jean Paul Allain, Associate Director of Science for FES.

Depoartment of Energy Office of Science logo.
LaserNetUS logo on background of OMEGA EP.
Illustration showing higher laser coupling = efficient driver with a corresponding graph showing laser absorption as a function of laser bandwidth on top and showing IFE targets must be simple and cheap on the bottom with a schematic of a target and a graph showing power as a function of time.


In June 2020 ARPA-E awarded the University of Rochester and LLE a $1.75 million, 3-year grant titled “Advanced Inertial Fusion Energy Target Designs and Driver Development.

The goal is to advance inertial fusion energy (IFE) by developing (1) innovative direct-drive, high-bandwidth, high-gain target designs using high-bandwidth laser technologies with E < 1 MJ of laser input energy, and (2) high-efficiency, high-bandwidth IFE drivers to eventually enable experimental demonstration of the advanced target designs. The new laser-driver technologies, including both diode-pumped solid-state and excimer lasers, are expected to mitigate laser–plasma instabilities, potentially allowing for greater and more-symmetric energy coupling to the target. This work is the result of multiple decades of investment into inertial confinement fusion (ICF), which has achieved high target performance and helped place ICF on a path toward lower-cost IFE. [/av_textblock] [/av_one_half] [av_one_half first min_height='' vertical_alignment='av-align-top' space='' row_boxshadow='' row_boxshadow_width='10' row_boxshadow_color='' custom_margin='' margin='0px' mobile_breaking='' mobile_column_order='' border='' border_style='solid' border_color='' radius='' min_col_height='' padding='' svg_div_top='' svg_div_top_color='#333333' svg_div_top_width='100' svg_div_top_height='50' svg_div_top_max_height='none' svg_div_top_flip='' svg_div_top_invert='' svg_div_top_front='' svg_div_top_opacity='' svg_div_top_preview='' svg_div_bottom='' svg_div_bottom_color='#333333' svg_div_bottom_width='100' svg_div_bottom_height='50' svg_div_bottom_max_height='none' svg_div_bottom_flip='' svg_div_bottom_invert='' svg_div_bottom_front='' svg_div_bottom_opacity='' svg_div_bottom_preview='' column_boxshadow='' column_boxshadow_width='10' column_boxshadow_color='' background='bg_color' background_color='' background_gradient_direction='vertical' background_gradient_color1='#000000' background_gradient_color2='#ffffff' background_gradient_color3='' src='' background_position='top left' background_repeat='no-repeat' highlight='' highlight_size='' animation='' animation_duration='' animation_custom_bg_color='' animation_z_index_curtain='100' parallax_parallax='' parallax_parallax_speed='' av-medium-parallax_parallax='' av-medium-parallax_parallax_speed='' av-small-parallax_parallax='' av-small-parallax_parallax_speed='' av-mini-parallax_parallax='' av-mini-parallax_parallax_speed='' css_position='' css_position_location='' css_position_z_index='' av-medium-css_position='' av-medium-css_position_location='' av-medium-css_position_z_index='' av-small-css_position='' av-small-css_position_location='' av-small-css_position_z_index='' av-mini-css_position='' av-mini-css_position_location='' av-mini-css_position_z_index='' link='' linktarget='' link_hover='' title_attr='' alt_attr='' mobile_display='' mobile_col_pos='0' id='' custom_class='' template_class='' aria_label='' element_template='' one_element_template='' show_locked_options_fakearg='' av_uid='av-17hmom9' sc_version='1.0'] [av_textblock textblock_styling_align='' textblock_styling='' textblock_styling_gap='' textblock_styling_mobile='' size='' av-medium-font-size='' av-small-font-size='' av-mini-font-size='' font_color='' color='' id='' custom_class='' template_class='' element_template='' one_element_template='' av_uid='av-lpvfhf5t' sc_version='1.0' admin_preview_bg='']

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