Xcimer raises $100 million to invest in inertial fusion laser tech

June 6, 2024, 3:00PMNuclear News
Xcimer Energy’s headquarters in Denver, Colo. (Photo: Xcimer Energy)

Xcimer Energy announced June 4 that it has raised $100 million in Series A financing for a new facility in Denver, Colo., that will host a prototype laser system with “the world’s largest nonlinear optical pulse compression system.” As a private fusion developer, Xcimer wants to “extend the proven science of inertial fusion to industrial scale” with the help of that laser system and “key technologies and innovations from multiple fields.”

Bigger and better? Xcimer says its laser architecture will produce up to 10 times higher laser energy at 10 times higher efficiency and over 30 times lower cost per joule than the National Ignition Facility (NIF) laser system that achieved fusion ignition and scientific breakeven in December 2022.

Xcimer is using laser technologies originally pursued for the Strategic Defense Initiative defense programs of the 1980s to reach higher laser energies, which in a fusion context could mean higher gain.

The funding will also allow Xcimer to expand its technical team in Denver, led by a new hire: senior vice president of engineering Giovanni Greco, who joined Xcimer from aerospace companies Blue Origin and Astra Space. Greco will lead engineering at Xcimer, starting with the design, development, and manufacturing of the new prototype laser system.

Financing: “This Series A financing enables us to achieve key milestones along the path to commercial inertial fusion energy,” said Conner Galloway, chief executive officer and chief science officer at Xcimer. “We’re thrilled that our industry-leading investors, as well as our partners from U.S. national labs, academic institutions and private industry, are joining us on our mission to bring safe, reliable, zero-carbon, and economical energy to the world.”

The financing was led by Hedosophia, with participation from investors including Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Lowercarbon Capital, Prelude Ventures, Emerson Collective, Gigascale Capital, and Starlight Ventures.

More on Xcimer: Founded in 2022 and based in Denver, with an office in Redwood City, Calif., Xcimer was one of eight companies selected for funding in May 2023 through the Department of Energy’s Milestone-Based Fusion Development Program. Xcimer is set to receive a substantial $9 million of the total $46 million in Milestone program funds for its first 18 months of work.

The DOE is creating three inertial fusion energy hubs through the Inertial Fusion Energy Science and Technology Accelerated Research (IFE-STAR) initiative, and Xcimer is a member of all three hubs.

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