Plasma channel and Z-pinch dynamics for heavy ion transport

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A self stabilized, free standing, z-pinch plasma channel has been proposed to deliver the high intensity heavy ion beam from the end of a driver to the fuel target in a heavy ion inertial fusion power plant. The z-pinch relaxes emittance and energy spread requirements requiring a lower cost driver. A z-pinch transport would reduce the number of beam entry port holes to the target chamber from over a hundred to four as compared to neutralized ballistic focusing thus reducing the driver hardware exposure to neutron flux. Experiments where a double pulse discharge technique is used, z-pinch plasma channels with ... continued below

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Ponce-Marquez, David July 9, 2002.

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A self stabilized, free standing, z-pinch plasma channel has been proposed to deliver the high intensity heavy ion beam from the end of a driver to the fuel target in a heavy ion inertial fusion power plant. The z-pinch relaxes emittance and energy spread requirements requiring a lower cost driver. A z-pinch transport would reduce the number of beam entry port holes to the target chamber from over a hundred to four as compared to neutralized ballistic focusing thus reducing the driver hardware exposure to neutron flux. Experiments where a double pulse discharge technique is used, z-pinch plasma channels with enhanced stability are achieved. Typical parameters are 7 kV pre-pulse discharge and 30 kV main bank discharge with 50 kA of channel current in a 7 torr background gas atmosphere. This work is an experimental study of these plasma channels examining the relevant physics necessary to understand and model such plasmas. Laser diagnostics measured the dynamical properties of neutrals and plasma. Schlieren and phase contrast techniques probe the pre-pulse gas dynamics and infrared interferometry and faraday effect polarimetry are used on the z-pinch to study its electron density and current distribution. Stability and repeatability of the z-pinch depend on the initial conditions set by the pre-pulse. Results show that the z-pinch channel is wall stabilized by an on-axis gas density depression created by the pre-pulse through hydrodynamic expansion where the ratio of the initial gas density to the final gas density is > 10/1. The low on-axis density favors avalanching along the desired path for the main bank discharge. Pinch time is around 2 s from the main bank discharge initiation with a FWHM of {approx} 2 cm. Results also show that typical main bank discharge plasma densities reach 10{sup 17} cm{sup -3} peak on axis for a 30 kV, 7 torr gas nitrogen discharge. Current rise time is limited by the circuit-channel inductance with the highest contribution to the impedance due to the plasma. There is no direct evidence of surface currents due to high frequency skin effects and magnetic field experiments indicate that > 70% of the current carried by the channel is enclosed within FWHM of the channel. Code-experiment benchmark comparisons show that simulations capture the main mechanisms of the channel evolution, but complete atomic models need to be incorporated.

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OSTI as DE00799657

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  • Other Information: TH: Thesis (Ph.D.); Submitted to University of California, Berkeley, CA (US)

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  • Report No.: LBNL--51056
  • Report No.: HIFAN 1172
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 799657
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc737778

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  • July 9, 2002

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  • Oct. 19, 2015, 7:39 p.m.

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  • April 4, 2016, 4:25 p.m.

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Ponce-Marquez, David. Plasma channel and Z-pinch dynamics for heavy ion transport, thesis or dissertation, July 9, 2002; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc737778/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.