The clusters were produced by expanding a deuterium gas jet into a vacuum. A laser beam focussed near the top of the plume heats the clusters, causing them to explode. This creates a small plasma of high energy (keV) deuterium ions which collide with each other and undergo a fusion reaction.

The experiment converted laser energy into fusion energy at an efficiency comparable with that displayed by much larger lasers. One advantage of the table-top technique is that the laser can fire 10 shots per second for short periods of time, compared with about one shot per hour from traditional fusion lasers.