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Laser Beam Propagation through Long Ignition Scale Plasmas on NIF

Description: Experiments on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) have employed the first four beams to measure propagation and laser backscattering losses in large ignition-size plasmas. Gas-filled targets between 2 mm and 7 mm length have been heated from one side by overlapping the focal spots of the four beams from one quad operated at 351 nm (3{omega}) with a total intensity of 2 x 10{sup 15}W cm{sup -2}. The targets were filled with 1 atm of CO{sub 2} producing of up to 7 mm long homogeneously heated plasmas with densities of n{sub e} = 5 x 10{sup 20} cm{sup -3} and temperatures of T{sub e} = 2 keV. The high energy in a NIF quad of beams of 16kJ, illuminating the target from one direction, creates unique conditions for the study of laser plasma interactions at scale lengths not previously accessible. The propagation through the large-scale plasma was measured with a gated x-ray imager that was filtered for 3.5 keV x rays. These data indicate that the beams interact with the full length of this ignition-scale plasma during the last {approx}1 ns of the experiment when applying full laser beam smoothing consisting of phase plates, smoothing by spectral dispersion and polarization smoothing. Measurements that only apply phase plates show laser beam filamentation and reduced propagation speed. These results demonstrate the NIF experimental capabilities and further provide a benchmark for three-dimensional modeling of the laser-plasma interactions at ignition-size scale lengths.
Date: June 12, 2005
Creator: Glenzer, S H
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Critical tests of line broadening theories by precision measurements

Description: The spectral line profiles of ionized emitters in plasmas play an important role in the calculation of opacity, for short-wavelength laser studies, and for the diagnostics of inertial confinement fusion plasmas. Sophisticated theoretical methods and modeling have been advanced and applied in recent years to calculate spectral line profiles in the limits where broadening by electron collisions or by ion microfield dominates. Here, the authors describe recent measurements of spectral line profiles of a z-pinch experiment employing precision plasma diagnostic techniques. In particular, the electron-collisional-broadened 2s--2p transitions in B{sub III} have been investigated because their line profiles provide an excellent test for electron-impact line shape theories and electron collision strength calculations. Although they find good agreement with semiclassical calculations, a factor of two discrepancy with the most elaborate quantum-mechanical five-state close coupling calculations is observed. They discuss the experimental error estimates of the various measured quantities and show that the observed discrepancy can not be explained by experimental shortcomings. They further discuss measurements of non-isolated spectral lines of some {Delta}n = 1 transitions in C{sub IV}--O{sub VI}. For these transitions ion broadening dominates. Excellent agreement for the whole line profile with line broadening calculations is obtained for all cases only when including ion dynamic effects. The latter are calculated using the frequency-fluctuation model and account for about 10--25% of the line width of the considered ions.
Date: February 22, 1996
Creator: Glenzer, S.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High-energy 4{omega} probe laser for laser-plasma experiments at nova

Description: For the characterization of inertial confinement fusion plasmas we implemented a high-energy 4{omega} probe laser at the Nova laser facility. A total energy of > 50 Joules at 4{omega}, a focal spot size of order 100 {micro}m, and a pointing accuracy of 100 {micro}m was demonstrated for target shots. This laser provides intensities of up to 3 x 10{sup 14}W cm{sup -2} and therefore fulfills high-power requirements for laser-plasma interaction experiments. The 4{omega} probe laser is now routinely used for Thomson scattering. Successful experiments were performed in gas-filled hohlraums at electron densities of n{sub e} > 2 X 10{sup 21}cm{sup -3} which represents the highest density plasma so far being diagnosed with Thomson scattering.
Date: June 2, 1998
Creator: Glenzer, S. H., LLNL
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Characterization of High-Temperature Laser-Produced Plasmas Using Thomson Scattering

Description: Ultraviolet Thomson scattering has been fielded at the Omega Laser Facility to achieve accurate measurements of the plasma conditions in laser-produced high-temperature plasmas. Recent applications to hohlraum targets that have been filled with CH gas or SiO{sub 2} foams have demonstrated a new high temperature plasma regime of importance to laser-plasma interaction studies in a strongly damped regime such as those occurring in indirect drive inertial confinement fusion experiments. The Thomson scattering spectra show the collective ion acoustic features that fit the theory for two ion species plasmas and from which we infer the electron and ion temperature. We find that the electron temperature scales from 2-4 keV when increasing the heater beam energy into the hohlraum from 8-17 kJ, respectively. Simultaneous measurements of the stimulated Raman scattering from a green 527 nm interaction beam show that the reflectivity decreases from 20% to 1% indicating that this instability is strongly damped at high temperatures. These findings support green laser beams as possible driver option for laser-driven fusion experiments.
Date: September 16, 2005
Creator: Glenzer, S H; Froula, D H; Ross, S; Niemann, C; Meezan, N & Divol, L
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Target designs for energetics experiments on the National Ignition Facility

Description: The goal of the first hohlraum energetics experiments on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) [G. H. Miller et al , Optical Eng. 43, 2841 (2004)] is to select the hohlraum design for the first ignition experiments. Sub-scale hohlraums heated by 96 of the 192 laser beams on the NIF are used to emulate the laser-plasma interaction behavior of ignition hohlraums. These ''plasma emulator'' targets are 70% scale versions of the 1.05 MJ, 300 eV ignition hohlraum and have the same energy-density as the full-scale ignition designs. Radiation-hydrodynamics simulations show that the sub-scale target is a good emulator of plasma conditions inside the ignition hohlraum, reproducing density ne within 10% and temperature Te within 15% along a laser beam path. Linear backscatter gain analysis shows the backscatter risk to be comparable to that of the ignition target. A successful energetics campaign will allow the National Ignition Campaign to focus its efforts on optimizing ignition hohlraums with efficient laser coupling.
Date: August 31, 2007
Creator: Meezan, N B; Glenzer, S H & Suter, L J
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Generalized x-ray scattering cross section from non-equilibrium solids and plasmas

Description: We propose a modified x-ray form factor that describes the scattering cross section in warm dense matter valid for both the plasma and the solid (crystalline) state. Our model accounts for the effect of lattice correlations on the electron-electron dynamic structure, as well as provides a smooth transition between the solid and the plasma scattering cross sections. In addition, we generalize the expression of the dynamic structure in the case of a two-temperature system (with different electron and ion temperatures). This work provides a unified description of the x-ray scattering processes in warm and dense matter, as the one encountered in inertial confinement fusion, laboratory astrophysics, material science, and high-energy density physics and it can be used to verify temperature relaxation mechanisms in such environments.
Date: February 7, 2006
Creator: Gregori, G; Glenzer, S H & Landen, O L
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Temporal Dispersion of a Spectrometer

Description: The temporal dispersion of an optical spectrometer has been characterized for a variety of conditions related to optical diagnostics to be fielded at the National Ignition Facility (e.g., Full-Aperture Backscatter Station, Thomson Scattering). Significant time smear is introduced into these systems by the path length difference through the spectrometer. The temporal resolution can be calculated to depend only on the order of the grating, wavelength, and the number of grooves illuminated. To enhance the temporal dispersion, the spectral gratings can be masked limiting the number of grooves illuminated. Experiments have been conducted to verify these calculations. The size and shape of masks are investigated and correlated to the exact shape of the temporal instrument function, which is required when interpreting temporally resolved data. The experiments used a 300fs laser pulse and a picosecond optical streak camera to determine the temporal dispersion. This was done for multiple spectral orders, gratings, and optical masks.
Date: May 8, 2008
Creator: Visco, A; Drake, R P; Froula, D H & Glenzer, S H
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mapping the Ionization State of Laser-Irradiated Ar Gas Jets With Multi-Wavelength Monochromatic X-Ray Imaging

Description: Two-dimensional monochromatic images of fast-electron stimulated Ar K{alpha} and He-{alpha} x-ray self-emission have recorded a time-integrated map of the extent of Ar{sup {approx}6+} and Ar{sup 16+} ions, respectively, within a high density (10{sup 20} cm{sup -3} atomic density) Ar plasma. This plasma was produced by irradiating a 2 mm wide clustering Ar gas jet with an ultra-high intensity (10{sup 19} W/cm{sup 2}, 200 fs) Ti:Sapphire laser operating at 800 nm. Spherically bent quartz crystals in the 200 (for K{alpha}) and 201 (for He-{alpha}) planes were used as near-normal incidence reflective x-ray optics. We see that a large (830 {micro}m long) region of plasma emits K{alpha} primarily along the laser axis, while the He-{alpha} emission is confined to smaller hot spot (230 {micro}m long) region that likely corresponds to the focal volume of the f/8 laser beam. X-ray spectra from a Bragg spectrometer operating in the von Hamos geometry, which images in one dimension, indicate that the centroids of the K{alpha} and He-{alpha} emission regions are separated by approximately 330 {micro}m along the laser axis.
Date: April 8, 2010
Creator: Kugland, N L; Doppner, T; Kemp, A; Schaeffer, D; Glenzer, S H & Niemann, C
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Imaging back scattered and near back scattered light in ignition scale plasmas

Description: Diagnostics have been developed and fielded at the Nova laser facility that image scattered light in the vicinity of the final laser focusing lens. The absolute calibration of optical components exposed to the target debris have been achieved by a combination of routine in situ calibration and maintenance. The scattering observed from plasmas relevant to ignition experiments indicates that light scattered just outside the lens can be larger than that collected by the lens, and is a significant factor in the energy balance when the f number is high.
Date: May 7, 1996
Creator: Kirkwood, R.K.; Back, C.A.; Glenzer, S.H. & Moody, J.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Spectroscopic temperature measurements of non-equilibrium plasmas

Description: The characterization of laser-produced plasmas has required the application of spectroscopic techniques to non-standard conditions where kinetics models have not been extensively tested. The plasmas are produced by the Nova laser for the study of inertial confinement fusion, can be mm in size, and evolve on sub-nanosecond time scales. These targets typically achieve electron temperatures from 2-4 keV and electron densities of 10{sup 20}-10{sup 22} cm{sup {minus}3}. The authors have measured the electron temperature of two types of targets: bags of gas and hohlraums, Au cylinders with laser entrance holes in the flat ends. By comparing data from different targets, they examine the time-dependence of spectroscopic plasma diagnostics.
Date: April 24, 1996
Creator: Back, C.A.; Glenzer, S.H.; Lee, R.W. & MacGowan, B.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Thomson scattering from inertial confinement fusion plasmas

Description: Thomson scattering has been developed at the Nova laser facility as a direct and accurate diagnostic to characterize inertial confinement fusion plasmas. Flat disks coated with thin multilayers of gold and beryllium were with one laser beam to produce a two ion species plasma with a controlled amount of both species. Thomson scattering spectra from these plasmas showed two ion acoustic waves belonging to gold and beryllium. The phase velocities of the ion acoustic waves are shown to be a sensitive function of the relative concentrations of the two ion species and are in good agreement with theoretical calculations. These open geometry experiments further show that an accurate measurement of the ion temperature can be derived from the relative damping of the two ion acoustic waves. Subsequent Thomson scattering measurements from methane-filled, ignition-relevant hohlraums apply the theory for two ion species plasmas to obtain the electron and ion temperatures with high accuracy. The experimental data provide a benchmark for two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations using LASNEX, which is presently in use to predict the performance of future megajoule laser driven hohlraums of the National Ignition Facility (NIF). The data are consistent with modeling using significantly inhibited heat transport at the peak of the drive. Applied to NIF targets, this flux limitation has little effect on x- ray production. The spatial distribution of x-rays is slightly modified but optimal symmetry can be re-established by small changes in power balance or pointing. Furthermore, we find that stagnating plasma regions on the hohlraum axis are well described by the calculations. This result implies that stagnation in gas-filled hohlraums occurs too late to directly affect the capsule implosion in ignition experiments.
Date: July 8, 1997
Creator: Glenzer, S.H.; Back, C.A. & Suter, L.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

X-ray spectroscopy from fusion plasmas

Description: Our understanding of laser energy coupling into laser-driven inertial confinement fusion targets largely depends on our ability to accurately measure and simulate the plasma conditions in the underdense corona and in high density capsule implosions. X-ray spectroscopy is an important technique which has been applied to measure the total absorption of laser energy into the fusion target, the fraction of laser energy absorbed by hot electrons, and the conditions in the fusion capsule in terms of density and temperature. These parameters provide critical benchmarking data for performance studies of the fusion target and for radiation-hydrodynamic and laser-plasma interaction simulations. Using x-ray spectroscopic techniques for these tasks has required its application to non-standard conditions where kinetics models have not been extensively tested. In particular, for the conditions in high density implosions, where electron temperatures achieve 1 - 2 keV and electron densities reach 10<sup>24</sup> cm<sup>-3</sup> evolving on time scales of < 1 ns, no independent non-spectroscopic measurements of plasma parameters are available. For these reasons, we have performed experiments in open-geometry gas bag plasmas at densities of 10<sup>21</sup> cm<sup>-3</sup> and which am independently diagnosed with Thomson scattering and stimulated Raman scattering. We find that kinetics modeling is in good agreement with measured intensities of the dielectronic satellites of the He-{beta} line (n= l-3) of Ar XVII. Applying these findings to the experimental results of capsule implosions provides additional evidence of� temperature gradients at peak compression.
Date: August 12, 1998
Creator: Glenzer, S H
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Thomson scattering in the corona of laser-produced gold plasmas

Description: Thomson scattering measurements of the electron temperature in laser- produced gold plasmas are presented. We irradiated a flat gold disk target with one laser beam of the Nova laser facility. A second laser beam probed the plasma at a distance of 500{mu}m with temporally resolved Thomson scattering. The electron temperature measurements are compared with hydrodynamic simulations using the code LASNEX for experiments applying smoothed and unsmoothed heater beams. In case of an unsmoothed heater beam the simulations predict temperatures which are about 40% higher than our measured data. Although the agreement is improved for a smoothed heater beam, discrepancies exist in the decay phase of the plasma. We discuss possible explanations for these observations.
Date: May 8, 1996
Creator: Glenzer, S.H.; Back, C.A.; Estabrook, K.G. & MacGowan, B.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Predictive three dimensional modeling of Stimulated Brillouin Scattering in ignition-scale experiments

Description: The first three-dimensional (3D) simulations of a high power 0.351 {micro}m laser beam propagating through a high temperature hohlraum plasma are reported. We show that 3D linear kinetic modeling of Stimulated Brillouin scattering reproduces quantitatively the experimental measurements, provided it is coupled to detailed hydrodynamics simulation and a realistic description of the laser beam from its millimeter-size envelop down to the micron scale speckles. These simulations accurately predict the strong reduction of SBS measured when polarization smoothing is used.
Date: November 7, 2007
Creator: Divol, L; Berger, R; Meezan, N; Froula, D H; Dixit, S; Suter, L et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Three dimensional modeling of Laser-Plasma interaction: benchmarking our predictive modeling tools vs. experiments

Description: We have developed a new target platform to study Laser Plasma Interaction in ignition-relevant condition at the Omega laser facility (LLE/Rochester)[1]. By shooting an interaction beam along the axis of a gas-filled hohlraum heated by up to 17 kJ of heater beam energy, we were able to create a millimeter-scale underdense uniform plasma at electron temperatures above 3 keV. Extensive Thomson scattering measurements allowed us to benchmark our hydrodynamic simulations performed with HYDRA[2]. As a result of this effort, we can use with much confidence these simulations as input parameters for our LPI simulation code pF3d[3]. In this paper, we show that by using accurate hydrodynamic profiles and full three-dimensional simulations including a realistic modeling of the laser intensity pattern generated by various smoothing options, whole beam three-dimensional linear kinetic modeling of stimulated Brillouin scattering reproduces quantitatively the experimental measurements(SBS thresholds, reflectivity values and the absence of measurable SRS). This good agreement was made possible by the recent increase in computing power routinely available for such simulations. These simulations accurately predicted the strong reduction of SBS measured when polarization smoothing is used.
Date: November 8, 2007
Creator: Divol, L; Berger, R; Meezan, N; Froula, D H; Dixit, S; Suter, L et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Imaging Thomson scattering measurements of radiatively heated Xe

Description: Uniform density and temperature Xe plasmas have been produced over &gt;4 mm scale-lengths using x-rays generated in a cylindrical Pb cavity. The cavity is 750 {micro}m in depth and diameter, and is heated by a 300 J, 2 ns square, 1054 nm laser pulse focused to a spot size of 200 {micro}m at the cavity entrance. The plasma is characterized by simultaneous imaging Thomson scattering measurements from both the electron and ion scattering features. The electron feature measurement determines the spatial electron density and temperature profile, and using these parameters as constraints in the ion feature analysis allows an accurate determination of the charge state of the Xe ions. The Thomson scattering probe beam is 40 J, 200 ps, and 527 nm, and is focused to a 100 {micro}m spot size at the entrance of the Pb cavity. Each system has a spatial resolution of 25 {micro}m, a temporal resolution of 200 ps (as determined by the probe duration), and a spectral resolution of 2 nm for the electron feature system and 0.025 nm for the ion feature system. The experiment is performed in a Xe filled target chamber at a neutral pressure of 3-10 Torr, and the x-rays produced in the Pb ionize and heat the Xe to a charge state of 20 {+-} 4 at up to 200 eV electron temperatures.
Date: May 1, 2012
Creator: Pollock, B; Meinecke, J; Kuschel, S; Ross, J S; Divol, L; Glenzer, S H et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Thomson Scattering Measurements of Plasma Dynamics

Description: The authors propose to investigate the dynamics of plasmas in the warm dense matter (WDM) regime on ultra-short time scales. Accessible plasma conditions are in the density range of n = 10{sup 20} - 10{sup 23} cm{sup -3} and at moderate temperatures of T = 1 - 20 eV. These plasmas are of importance for laboratory astrophysics, high energy density science and inertial confinement fusion. They are characterized by a coupling parameter of {Lambda} {approx}&gt; 1, where electromagnetic interactions are of the same order as the kinetic energy. The high density of the plasma makes it opaque to radiation in the visible range and, as a consequence, UV up to x-ray radiation can be used to probe such systems. Therefore a wide range in the temperature-density plane of WDM is presently unexplored and only the VUV-FEL opens for the first time the opportunity for its detailed investigation. In equilibrium, the macroscopic state of the plasma is completely characterized by its density and temperature. In pump-probe experiments however, the plasma is initially in a nonequilibrium state and relaxes towards equilibrium within the relaxation time {tau}{sub R}. For t &gt; {tau}{sub R}, the plasma is in an equilibrium state and expands hydrodynamically on a time scale {tau}{sub H}. The proposed experiment measures the time-resolved Thomson scattering signal with the VUV-FEL radiation characterizing the plasma in equilibrium and nonequilibrium states. Both regimes are extremely interesting and will provide new insight into the following phenomena: (1) details of nonequilibrium correlations, (2) relaxation phenomena, (3) hydrodynamic expansion, (4) recombination kinetics. The time-resolved Thomson scattering signal is obtained in a pump-probe experiment by varying the delay between pump and probe. The final stage of the relaxation process (t {approx} {tau}{sub R}) is of special interest since the plasma components (electrons and ion species) can be assumed ...
Date: March 29, 2006
Creator: Holl, A; Redmer, R; Tschentscher, T; Toleikis, S; Forster, E; Cao, L et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Thomson scattering techniques in laser produced plasmas

Description: Thomson scattering has been shown to be a valuable technique for measuring the plasma conditions in laser produced plasmas. Measurement techniques are discussed that use the ion-acoustic frequency measured from the collective Thomson-scattering spectrum to extract the electron temperature, ion temperature, plasma flow, and electron density in a laser produced plasma. In a recent study, they demonstrated a novel Thomson-scattering technique to measure the dispersion of ion-acoustic fluctuations that employing multiple color Thomson-scattering diagnostics. They obtained frequency-resolved Thomson-scattering spectra of the two separate thermal ion-acoustic fluctuations with significantly different wave vectors. This new technique allows a simultaneous time resolved local measurement of electron density and temperature. The plasma fluctuations are shown to become dispersive with increasing electron temperature. Furthermore, a Thomson-scattering technique to measure the electron temperature profile is presented where recent experiments have measured a large electron temperature gradient (Te = 1.4 keV to Te = 3.2 keV over 1.5-mm) along the axis of a 2-mm long hohlraum when heated asymmetrically.
Date: May 4, 2006
Creator: Froula, D H; Ross, J S; Divol, L; MacKinnon, A J; Sorce, C & Glenzer, S H
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department