Description: Demonstration of thermonuclear ignition and gain on a laboratory scale is one of science's grand challenges. The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is committed to achieving inertial confinement fusion (ICF) by 2010. Success in this endeavor depends on four elements: the laser driver performance, target design, experimental diagnostics performance, and target fabrication and target materials performance. This article discusses the current state of target fabrication and target materials performance. The first three elements will only be discussed insofar as they relate to target fabrication specifications and target materials performance. Excellent reviews of the physics of ICF are given by Lindl [Lindl 1998] and Lindl et al. [Lindl 2004]. To achieve conditions under which inertial confinement is sufficient to achieve thermonuclear burn, an imploded fuel capsule is compressed to conditions of high density and temperature. In the laboratory a driver is required to impart energy to the capsule to effect an implosion. There are three drivers currently being considered for ICF in the laboratory: high-powered lasers, accelerated heavy ions, and x rays resulting from pulsed power machines. Of these, high-powered lasers are the most developed, provide the most symmetric drive, and provide the most energy. Laser drive operates in two configurations. The first is direct drive where the laser energy impinges directly on the ICF capsule and drives the implosion. The second is indirect drive, where the energy from the laser is first absorbed in a high-Z enclosure or hohlraum surrounding the capsule, and the resulting x-rays emitted by the hohlraum material drives the implosion. Using direct drive the laser beam energy is absorbed by the electrons in the outer corona of the target. The electrons transport the energy to the denser shell region to provide the ablation and the resulting implosion. Laser direct drive is generally less efficient and more hydrodynamically ...
Date: June 1, 2004
Creator: Hamza, A V
Item Type: Refine your search to only Article
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