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Dr Mark Tillack


Research Scientist Emeritus,

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department

Ph.D. MIT, 1983

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Mark Tillack received his Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Nuclear Engineering from MIT, Cambridge MA, in 1980 and 1983 respectively.  From 1983 until 1994 he performed research at UCLA on fusion nuclear technology, especially fusion blanket R&D, as well as participation in the ITER conceptual design activity and test program, and the Prometheus laser and heavy ion fusion reactor conceptual design studies.  In 1994, he moved to UC San Diego to lead the engineering team of the US ARIES fusion conceptual design studies program.


His subsequent research broadened to include inertial fusion energy (IFE) chamber and optics research, non-nuclear energy technologies and EUV lithography. He co-founded and led the UCSD laser-plasma laboratory, with research in both IFE chamber technology and EUV semiconductor lithography. He has held visiting professor positions at Kyoto University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (formerly Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe).  Until his retirement in 2016 he served as Associate Director of the UCSD Center for Energy Research. 


Dr. Tillack was elected Fellow of both the American Nuclear Society (ANS) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and served as general chair or program chair of numerous conferences and administrative committees.  He has published 165 refereed journal articles.

Current Research Interests

As a Research Scientist Emeritus, Dr. Tillack continues to make contributions to both fusion energy technology and laser-plasma light sources.  In collaboration with General Atomics he is pursuing advanced SiC-based materials and designs for fusion energy applications and the conceptual design of a fusion pilot plant expected to deliver energy onto the electric grid within 15-20 years.  He serves as a consultant to private industry and national labs working on fusion nuclear technology, including a collaboration with Idaho National Laboratory on fusion safety and blanket studies. Dr. Tillack also continues to support research on advanced light sources for semiconductor lithography including "beyond EUV" (BEUV) sources in the 1-6 nm wavelength range.

Recent Publications

M. S. Tillack, S. A. Bringuier, I. Holmes, L. Holland, F. Santos-Novais, G. I. Maldonado,

"GAMBL – A dual-cooled fusion blanket using SiC-based structures,"

Fusion Engineering and Design, Volume 180, July 2022, 113155.


S. C. Bott-Suzuki, A. Bykanov, O. Khodykin, M. Tillack, S. Cordaro, and C. McGuffey,

"Characterization of plasma emission in the 1-6 nm band

from laser-irradiated cryogenic xenon targets," 

Journal of Applied Physics 126, 113103 (2019).



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