Galloway in purple shirt with blurry leafy background

Conner Galloway

Changing the game for Inertial Fusion Energy

Conner Galloway

Xcimer Energy Corporation

Friday, March 17, 2023



PSFC Seminars

Abstract: The National Ignition Facility achieved scientific breakeven in December 2022. While this was a major accomplishment, many challenges remain in making Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE) a reality. Xcimer Energy is tackling these challenges by developing a novel laser architecture capable of economically scaling to tens of megajoules of energy and delivering this energy to target from a very small solid angle (<10e-3 sr) with high beam quality and control. This will provide a practical path to rapidly demonstrate and commercialize IFE by allowing the use of simpler fusion targets that can achieve high gain robustly, and leads to repetition rates for electrical power production of under 1 Hz which relaxes requirements throughout the plant. Furthermore, this laser architecture enables the well-studied HYLIFE reactor concept utilizing thick liquid FLiBe molten salt flows to protect the first structural wall, allowing a 30-year lifetime from existing low-activation steel and eliminating the need to develop and qualify new first-wall materials. Xcimer has raised funds from leading clean-tech venture firms, and is currently recruiting for scientific and engineering positions including nonlinear optical physics, low density plasma chemistry and kinetics, plasma physics, pulsed-power, ML optimization and control, and laser & fusion engineering. Construction will start on a prototype laser facility in Denver, Colorado in Q3 2023.

Bio: Conner Galloway received a B.S. and M.Eng. in Nuclear Science and Engineering from MIT in 2009 and was admitted to the MIT Physics Ph.D. program, receiving a fully sponsored NNSA fellowship. He declined both the fellowship and MIT admission to join Innoven Energy in 2009. At Innoven he served as Head of Target Design and led development of ICF target concepts and radiation hydrodynamics modeling, receiving several US patents. He left Innoven in 2016 and spent several years building another startup (AliveCor) in the medical technology space. In 2020 he began assembling a team and developing the concept which was incorporated as Xcimer Energy, Inc. in late 2021.