There is no general consensus on a model of the solid state fusion reaction. There is no one theory explaining the heat, helium, transmutations and other particles that can occur when hydrogen enters the nano-spaces in metals. Rather it is as electrochemist Michael McKubre has said, “There’s too many theories!”. Theorists have struggled to visualize what they can’t see.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Peter Hagelstein has remarked that the lack of radiation and particles emanating from cold fusion/LENR experiments have made modeling the reaction difficult. The LENR reaction does make particles, it’s just that, there are so few of them, most particles and radiation do not leave the cell apparatus. For a long time, scientists had a hard time measuring them. The very thing that makes this form of power generation safe has made the theoretical problem harder to solve.
However, applications of new lab technologies have allowed more precise measurement of what previously had been invisible. Computer simulations based on laboratory data are also providing a better picture of possibility. At ICCF25, new developments and analysis in electron screening strengthen consensus on part of the as-yet-unknown reaction mechanism.
Electron screening proposed in 1990
Electron screening has been seen as a way for the positively-charged hydrogen nuclei within the nanospaces of a metal to approach each other closer to within fusion distance, subverting the Coulomb barrier. It was first formally suggested at the 1st Conference on Cold Fusion in 1990. Yet, looking through the previous ICCF Conference Proceedings on LENR Library [ See https://lenr-canr.org/wordpress/?page_id=2130 ], the papers with “electron screening” in their titles from ICCF1-ICCF23 are easily countable. Some of the papers found are listed below. Three papers included author Konrad Czerski, host of this year’s ICCF25 at the University of Szczecin.
i. Rice, R. A., Chulick, G. S., Kim, Y. E., The Effect of Velocity Distribution and Electron Screening on Cold Fusion From the First Annual Conference on Cold Fusion 1990 [open]
Chicea, D. About Deuterium Nuclear reaction rate in Condensed Matter 7th International Conference on Cold Fusion 1998 [open]
ii. Sinha, K. P., Hagelstein, P. L., Electron Screening in Metal Deuterides 8th International Conference on Cold Fusion 2000
N. Luo, P.J. Shrestha, G.H.Miley, V. Violante,N., Enhancement Of Nuclear Reactions Due To Screening Effects Of Core Electrons, Tenth International Conference on Cold Fusion 2003 [open]
iii. Czerski, K., Heide, P., Huke, A., Electron Screening Constraints for Cold Fusion Eleventh International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science 2004
iv. Huke, A., Czerski, K., Heide, P., Accelerator Experiments and Theoretical Models for the Electron Screening Effect in Metallic Environments Eleventh International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science 2004 [open]
Kasagi, J., Screening Potential for Nuclear Reactions in Condensed Matter 14th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science 2008 [open]
v. Czerski, K., Enhanced Electron Screening and Nuclear Mechanism of Cold Fusion 15th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science 2009 [open]
Electron screening re-charged
While there was no specific focus on electron screening at ICCF23 held in Xiamen, China, Lawrence Forsley of NASA Glenn Research Center, Global Energy Corp., and University of Texas Austin, gave an interview for Infinite Energy Magazine where he discusses how important electron screening is to Lattice Confinement Fusion LCF. [.pdf] His talk at ICCF23 included a section on Electron Screening in Modeling [ See ICCF23 talk http://ikkem.com/iccf23/MP4/2a-PL05.mp4]
At last ICCF24, electron screening as a potential moderator to the Coulomb barrier was getting more attention. Forsley talked about Electron Screened and Enhanced Nuclear Reactions https://youtu.be/Ik15hQ8JH-k?si=ZGF2ZYDUNWYLNpeu and colleague Theresa L. Benyo, Principle Investigator for the Lattice Confinement Fusion Project at NASA Glenn Research Center also pointed to electron screening in her ICCF24 presentation https://youtu.be/kox-QclAJqk?si=mv3vOwSkXOHB-UGQ.
But when Harper Whitehouse and Frank Gordon of Inovl, Inc introduced their Lattice Energy Converter LEC with a live demonstration, new possibilities opened up. The duo wowed ICCF24 participants with the LEC’s continuous voltage production throughout the week. The LEC produces a lot of electrons, which could provide the source for the screening effect. [ See ICCF24 presentation https://youtu.be/MPquGUXvZ1g?si=4wJr8dEBtJYkZPm9 ]
LEC electron output increased
The possible source of electrons for screening might be found within the operation of the Lattice Energy Converter LEC, which has been reproduced by Aix-de-Université physicist Jean-Paul Biberian, among others. [ See https://youtu.be/pjbt0EP5oHw?si=RFvh65yBlRlo3fT- ] This year at ICCF25, Frank Gordon will talk Thursday afternoon about efforts to increase the LEC power since their last report in Scaling up the Lattice Energy Converter (LEC) Power Output. From the Abstract:
As presented at ICCF-24, multiple Lattice Energy Conversion (LEC) devices and configurations for direct energy conversion have experimentally demonstrated the ability to self-initiate and self-sustain the production of a voltage and current through an external load impedance without the use of naturally radioactive materials. These results have been reported by the authors and replicated by independent researchers. While the ability to self-initiate and self-sustain the production of electrical power in a load impedance is a significant development, output power must be scaled up by 6 to 10 orders of magnitude to become a useful energy source.
Gordon will discuss their success at increasing output by 2-3 times what was last reported, and how they plan to increase output another 4 orders of magnitude by increasing the surface area of the active electrode to 1 square meter.
ICCF25 hosts five electron screening talks (at least)
At ICCF25, Forsley will present an update with Plasma-induced electron screening at the Bragg Peak on Tuesday morning. His Abstract [ .pdf ] states:
Arguably, electron screening makes LENR possible.
We propose an enhanced electron screening effect occurs due to plasma screening as charged particles traverse condensed matter and sweep electrons with them. These electrons will be most pronounced at the Bragg Peak where the ions come to rest and have been observed with high Linear Energy Transfer (LET) particles in Solid State Nuclear Track Detectors. In fact, Pines  noted plasma screening equals erbium atomic electron screening.
Although the title of Theresa Benyo’s virtual presentation on Thursday morning is LENR Products: Lattice Confinement Fusion (LCF), Fission, or Both?, she will again, according to the Abstract, invoke electron screening as a possible element of the reaction process.
A third presentation on electron screening happens with LENR veteran David J. Nagel, Professor at George Washington University when he presents Surprising Correlation between Peaks in LENR Transmutation Data and Deuteron Fusion Screening Data on Monday afternoon.
Aleksandra Cvetinović, a researcher from the Nuclear Astrophysics Laboratory at Jožef Stefan Institute in Slovenia reports on Electron Screening in Palladium on Wednesday afternoon. The JSI lab is a CleanHME participant led by Prof. Dr Matej Lipoglavšek. From their website https://f2.ijs.si/en/projects/2020092409353725/clean-hydrogen-metal-energy:
We plan to construct a new compact reactor to test the HME (Hydrogen Metal Energy) technology during the long-term experiments and increase its technology readiness level.
Also Wednesday, University of Szczecin Institute of Physics and Co-Organizer of ICCF25 Natalie Targosz-Sleczka presents Nuclear reaction enhancements determined by means of direct and inverse kinematics in metallic environments.
What’s creating the electrons?
Rakesh Dubey of the University of Szczecin Institute of Physics will present on Electron observation benchmarking for solid-state DD fusion experiments at thermal energies Tuesday morning. He will provide experimental data showing a new reaction channel producing electrons and positrons at thermal energies. From the Abstract:
Furthermore, the electron-proton branching ratio determined for lowering deuteron energies down to 6 keV shows a significant increase in agreement with the threshold resonance mechanism. Based on that, the theoretical calculations predict that the e-/e+ channel and 4He productions should dominate nuclear reaction rates at thermal energies. Therefore, future cold fusion experiments should focus not only on excess measurements but also on the detection of high energy e-/e+.
Electron screening is part of the fusion process
Nuclear chemist Edmund Storms, formerly of Los Alamos National Lab, and now at Kiva Labs, has noted the ability of the LEC to make electrons and contribute to the possible screening effect for bare nuclei. From his most recent paper A New Understanding of Cold Fusion [ .pdf ]:
Recently, Gordon and Whitehouse (G-W) measured a strong electron current being emitted from a deposit of Pd exposed to D2 and from a deposit of Fe when it was exposed to H2. This emission is not the result of beta emission because it does not have a half-life. Instead, a steady current of energetic electrons is emitted from a material known to produce LENR.
Storms has since measured the relationship between excess power and electron emission, and found a range of electron energies. Only electrons originating within a few microns of the surface of the electrode are thought to be detected, and there is an energy loss as the electron travels through the material to escape the apparatus and enter the detector. He also makes a distinction between the electron screening induced by targeted beam experiments and the LEC, citing an experiment where D+ bombarded Titanium with kinetic energy. Storms writes:
When the hot fusion reaction is instead caused to take place in a material by bombarding the material with ions having kinetic energy, the electrons present in the material can add screening to increase the very small rate of the hot fusion reaction, especially at low kinetic energy, as shown in Fig. 18.[59, 60] In this case, the electrons near the site of each random encounter will slightly reduce the magnitude of the local barrier, with the amount of screening increasing as the kinetic energy is reduced.
Although this screening effect is large, it is not large enough to fully compensate for the reduced reaction rate caused by the reduction in kinetic energy. At best, this behavior shows that electron screening of the hot fusion mechanism is possible in a chemical structure. This kind of screening does not apply to the cold fusion process during which the applied kinetic energy is essentially zero and the resulting helium nucleus does not fragment.
However electrons are found to be produced, the LEC shows there are sufficient numbers available to make a continuous current. Storms theorizes on how these electrons are part of the nuclear process:
To cause fusion, this structure must allow at least two D to get close enough for their nuclear energy states to interact. The electrons that cause this reduction in separation would interact with the nuclear energy states. As a result, as fusion happens, some of these electrons would have access to the mass-energy and be able to dissipate this energy as kinetic energy and momentum. Briefly stated the electron structure that allows fusion to happen provides the means for the nuclear energy to be dissipated while momentum is conserved. Whether this emission of electrons is a sustained or sudden process has yet to be determined.
ICCF25 has at least five updates on electron screening research which may hold the key to unlocking the Rumpelstiltskin reaction that as yet, can not be named.