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Reflectivity of plasmas created by high-intensity, ultra-short laser pulses

Description: Experiments were performed to characterize the creation and evolution of high-temperature (T{sub e}{approximately}100eV), high-density (n{sub e}>10{sup 22}cm{sup {minus}3}) plasmas created with intense ({approximately}10{sup 12}-10{sup 16}W/cm{sup 2}), ultra-short (130fs) laser pulses. The principle diagnostic was plasma reflectivity at optical wavelengths (614nm). An array of target materials (Al, Au, Si, SiO{sub 2}) with widely differing electronic properties tested plasma behavior over a large set of initial states. Time-integrated plasma reflectivity was measured as a function of laser intensity. Space- and time-resolved reflectivity, transmission and scatter were measured with a spatial resolution of {approximately}3{mu}m and a temporal resolution of 130fs. An amplified, mode-locked dye laser system was designed to produce {approximately}3.5mJ, {approximately}130fs laser pulses to create and nonintrusively probe the plasmas. Laser prepulse was carefully controlled to suppress preionization and give unambiguous, high-density plasma results. In metals (Al and Au), it is shown analytically that linear and nonlinear inverse Bremsstrahlung absorption, resonance absorption, and vacuum heating explain time-integrated reflectivity at intensities near 10{sup 16}W/cm{sup 2}. In the insulator, SiO{sub 2}, a non-equilibrium plasma reflectivity model using tunneling ionization, Helmholtz equations, and Drude conductivity agrees with time-integrated reflectivity measurements. Moreover, a comparison of ionization and Saha equilibration rates shows that plasma formed by intense, ultra-short pulses can exist with a transient, non-equilibrium distribution of ionization states. All targets are shown to approach a common reflectivity at intensities {approximately}10{sup 16}W/cm{sup 2}, indicating a material-independent state insensitive to atomic or solid-state details.
Date: June 1, 1994
Creator: Gold, D.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Inference of ICF Implosion Core Mix using Experimental Data and Theoretical Mix Modeling

Description: The mixing between fuel and shell materials in Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) implosion cores is a current topic of interest. The goal of this work was to design direct-drive ICF experiments which have varying levels of mix, and subsequently to extract information on mixing directly from the experimental data using spectroscopic techniques. The experimental design was accomplished using hydrodynamic simulations in conjunction with Haan's saturation model, which was used to predict the mix levels of candidate experimental configurations. These theoretical predictions were then compared to the mixing information which was extracted from the experimental data, and it was found that Haan's mix model performed well in predicting trends in the width of the mix layer. With these results, we have contributed to an assessment of the range of validity and predictive capability of the Haan saturation model, as well as increased our confidence in the methods used to extract mixing information from experimental data.
Date: April 30, 2008
Creator: Welser-Sherrill, L; Haynes, D A; Mancini, R C; Cooley, J H; Tommasini, R; Golovkin, I E et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Interplanetary space transport using inertial fusion propulsion

Description: In this paper, we indicate how the great advantages that ICF offers for interplanetary propulsion can be accomplished with the VISTA spacecraft concept. The performance of VISTA is expected to surpass that from other realistic technologies for Mars missions if the energy gain achievable for ICF targets is above several hundred. Based on the good performance expected from the U. S. National Ignition Facility (NIF), the requirements for VISTA should be well within the realm of possibility if creative target concepts such as the fast ignitor can be developed. We also indicate that a 6000-ton VISTA can visit any planet in the solar system and return to Earth in about 7 years or less without any significant physiological hazards to astronauts. In concept, VISTA provides such short-duration missions, especially to Mars, that the hazards from cosmic radiation and zero gravity can be reduced to insignificant levels. VISTA therefore represents a significant step forward for space-propulsion concepts.
Date: April 20, 1998
Creator: Orth, C.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Response to Questions on Presentation to NAS

Description: Response to questions on the presentation 'Overview to Chamber and Power Plant Designs for IFE' made at the 1/29-31 meeting of the National Academies Committee on the Prospects for Inertial Confinement Fusion Energy Systems.
Date: March 17, 2011
Creator: Meier, W. R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Inference of ICF implosion core mix using experimental data and theoretical mix modeling

Description: The mixing between fuel and shell materials in Inertial Confinement Fusion (lCF) implosion cores is a current topic of interest. The goal of this work was to design direct-drive ICF experiments which have varying levels of mix, and subsequently to extract information on mixing directly from the experimental data using spectroscopic techniques. The experimental design was accomplished using hydrodynamic simulations in conjunction with Haan's saturation model, which was used to predict the mix levels of candidate experimental configurations. These theoretical predictions were then compared to the mixing information which was extracted from the experimental data, and it was found that Haan's mix model predicted trends in the width of the mix layer as a function of initial shell thickness. These results contribute to an assessment of the range of validity and predictive capability of the Haan saturation model, as well as increasing confidence in the methods used to extract mixing information from experimental data.
Date: January 1, 2009
Creator: Sherrill, Leslie Welser; Haynes, Donald A; Cooley, James H; Sherrill, Manolo E; Mancini, Roberto C; Tommasini, Riccardo et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nonuniformity for rotated beam illumination in directly driven heavy-ion fusion

Description: A key issue in heavy-ion beam inertial confinement fusion is target interaction, especially implosion symmetry. In this paper the 2D beam irradiation nonuniformity on the surface of a spherical target is studied. This is a first step to studies of 3D dynamical effects on target implosion. So far non-rotated beams have been studied. Because normal incidence may increase Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities, it has been suggested to rotate beams (to increase average uniformity) and hit the target tangentially. The level of beam irradiation uniformity, beam spill and normal incidence is calculated in this paper. In Mathematica the rotated beams are modeled as an annular integrated Gaussian beam. To simplify the chamber geometry, the illumination scheme is not a 4{pi} system, but the beams are arranged on few polar rings around the target. The position of the beam spot rings is efficiently optimized using the analytical model. The number of rings and beams, rotation radii and widths are studied to optimize uniformity and spilled intensity. The results demonstrate that for a 60-beam system on four rings Peak-To-Valley nonuniformities of under 0.5% are possible.
Date: January 2, 2009
Creator: Runge, J. & Logan, B.G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Solid Deuterium-Tritium Surface Roughness In A Beryllium Inertial Confinement Fusion Shell

Description: Solid deuterium-tritium (D-T) fuel layers for inertial confinement fusion experiments were formed inside of a 2 mm diameter beryllium shell and were characterized using phase-contrast enhanced x-ray imaging. The solid D-T surface roughness is found to be 0.4 {micro}m for modes 7-128 at 1.5 K below the melting temperature. The layer roughness is found to increase with decreasing temperature, in agreement with previous visible light characterization studies. However, phase-contrast enhanced x-ray imaging provides a more robust surface roughness measurement than visible light methods. The new x-ray imaging results demonstrate clearly that the surface roughness decreases with time for solid D-T layers held at 1.5 K below the melting temperature.
Date: April 19, 2006
Creator: Kozioziemski, B J; Sater, J D; Moody, J D; Montgomery, D S & Gautier, C
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Inertial Confinement Fusion and the National Ignition Facility (NIF)

Description: Inertial confinement fusion (ICF) seeks to provide sustainable fusion energy by compressing frozen deuterium and tritium fuel to extremely high densities. The advantages of fusion vs. fission are discussed, including total energy per reaction and energy per nucleon. The Lawson Criterion, defining the requirements for ignition, is derived and explained. Different confinement methods and their implications are discussed. The feasibility of creating a power plant using ICF is analyzed using realistic and feasible numbers. The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is shown as a significant step forward toward making a fusion power plant based on ICF. NIF is the world’s largest laser, delivering 1.8 MJ of energy, with a peak power greater than 500 TW. NIF is actively striving toward the goal of fusion energy. Other uses for NIF are discussed.
Date: August 29, 2012
Creator: Ross, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Aneutronic Fusion in a Degenerate Plasma

Description: In a Fermi-degenerate plasma, the electronic stopping of a slow ion is smaller than that given by the classical formula, because some transitions between the electron states are forbidden. The bremsstrahlung losses are then smaller, so that the nuclear burning of an aneutronic fuel is more efficient. Consequently, there occurs a parameter regime in which self-burning is possible. Practical obstacles in this regime that must be overcome before net energy can be realized include the compression of the fuel to an ultra dense state and the creation of a hot spot.
Date: September 3, 2004
Creator: Son, S. & Fisch, N.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Negative Halogen Ions for Fusion Applications

Description: Over the past quarter century, advances in hydrogen negative ion sources have extended the usable range of hydrogen isotope neutral beams to energies suitable for large magnetically confined fusion devices. Recently, drawing upon this experience, negative halogen ions have been proposed as an alternative to positive ions for heavy ion fusion drivers in inertial confinement fusion, because electron accumulation would be prevented in negative ion beams, and if desired, the beams could be photo-detached to neutrals. This paper reports the results of an experiment comparing the current density and beam emittance of Cl+ and Cl- extracted from substantially ion-ion plasmas with that of Ar+ extracted from an ordinary electron-ion plasma, all using the same source, extractor, and emittance scanner. At similar discharge conditions, the Cl- current was typically 85 – 90% of the positive chlorine current, with an e-/ Cl- ratio as low as seven without grid magnets. The Cl- was as much as 76% of the Ar+ current from a discharge with the same RF drive. The minimum normalized beam emittance and inferred ion temperatures of Cl+, Cl-, and Ar+ were all similar, so the current density and optical quality of Cl- appear as suitable for heavy ion fusion driver applications as a positive noble gas ion of similar mass. Since F, I, and Br should all behave similarly in an ion source, they should also be suitable as driver beams.
Date: January 1, 2006
Creator: Grisham, L.R.; Kwan, J.W.; Hahto, S.K.; Hahto, S.T.; Leung, K.N. & Westenskow, G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Traverse Focusing of Intense Charged Particle Beams with Chromatic Effects for Heavy Ion Fusion

Description: A fi nal focusing scheme designed to minimize chromatic effects is discussed. The Neutralized Drift Compression Experiment-II (NDCX-II) will apply a velocity tilt for longitudinal bunch compression, and a fi nal focusing solenoid (FFS) for transverse bunch compression. In the beam frame, neutralized drift compression causes a suffi#14;ciently large spread in axial momentum, pz , resulting in chromatic effects to the fi nal focal spot during transverse bunch compression. Placing a weaker solenoid upstream of a stronger fi nal focusing solenoid (FFS) mitigates chromatic effects and improves transverse focusing by a factor of approximately 2-4 for appropriate NDCX-II parameters.
Date: January 28, 2013
Creator: James M. Mitrani, Igor D. Kaganovich, Ronald C. Davidson
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Development of a Hibachi Window for Electron Beam Transmission in a KrF Laser

Description: In support of Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE), a 150 {micro}m thick silicon (Si) wafer coated on one side with a 1.2 {micro}m nanocrystalline diamond foil is being fabricated as an electron beam transmission (hibachi) window for use in KrF lasers. The hibachi window separates the lasing medium from the electron beam source while allowing the electron beam to pass through. The hibachi window must be capable of withstanding the challenging environment presented in the lasing chamber, which include: fluorine gas, delta pressure >2 atm at 5 Hz, and a high heat flux due to the transmission of electrons passing through the foil. Tests at NRL/Electra and at PPPL have shown that a device employing these novel components in the stated configuration provide for a robust hibachi window with structural integrity.
Date: November 7, 2003
Creator: Gentile, C.A.; Parsells, R.; Butler, J.E.; Sethian, J.D.; Ciebiera, L.; Hegeler, F. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Physics issues related to the confinement of ICF experiments in the US National Ignition Facility

Description: ICF experiments planned for the proposed US National Ignition Facility (NIF) will produce emissions of neutrons, x rays, debris, and shrapnel. The NIF Target Area (TA) must acceptably confine these emissions and respond to their effects to allow an efficient rate of experiments, from 600 to possibly 1500 per year, and minimal down time for maintenance. Detailed computer code predictions of emissions are necessary to study their effects and impacts on Target Area operations. Preliminary results show that the rate of debris shield transmission loss (and subsequent periodicity of change-out) due to ablated material deposition is acceptable, neutron effects on optics are manageable, and preliminary safety analyses show a facility rating of low hazard, non-nuclear. Therefore, NIF Target Area design features such as fused silica debris shields, refractory first wall coating, and concrete shielding are effective solutions to confinement of ICF experiment emissions.
Date: April 1, 1995
Creator: Tobin, M.; Anderson, A. & Latkowski, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Computational modeling of pulsed-power-driven magnetized target fusion experiments

Description: Direct magnetic drive using electrical pulsed power has been considered impractically slow for traditional inertial confinement implosion of fusion targets. However, if the target contains a preheated, magnetized plasma, magnetothermal insulation may allow the near-adiabatic compression of such a target to fusion conditions on a much slower time scale. 100-MJ-class explosive flux compression generators with implosion kinetic energies far beyond those available with conventional fusion drivers, are an inexpensive means to investigate such magnetized target fusion (MTF) systems. One means of obtaining the preheated and magnetized plasma required for an MTF system is the recently reported {open_quotes}MAGO{close_quotes} concept. MAGO is a unique, explosive-pulsed-power driven discharge in two cylindrical chambers joined by an annular nozzle. Joint Russian-American MAGO experiments have reported D-T neutron yields in excess of 10{sup 13} from this plasma preparation stage alone, without going on to the proposed separately driven NM implosion of the main plasma chamber. Two-dimensional MED computational modeling of MAGO discharges shows good agreement to experiment. The calculations suggest that after the observed neutron pulse, a diffuse Z-pinch plasma with temperature in excess of 100 eV is created, which may be suitable for subsequent MTF implosion, in a heavy liner magnetically driven by explosive pulsed power. Other MTF concepts, such as fiber-initiated Z-pinch target plasmas, are also being computationally and theoretically evaluated. The status of our modeling efforts will be reported.
Date: August 1, 1995
Creator: Sheehey, P.; Kirkpatrick, R. & Lindemuth, I.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Dual microchannel plate module for a gated monochromatic x-ray imager

Description: Development and testing of a dual microchannel plate (MCP) module to be used in the national Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) program has recently been completed. The MCP module is a key component of a new monochromatic x-ray imaging diagnostic which is designed around a 4 channel Kirkpatrick-Baez microscope and diffraction crystals which is located at University of Rochester`s Omega laser system. The MCP module has two separate MCP regions with centers spaced 53 mm apart. Each region contains a 25 mm MCP proximity focused to a P-11 phosphor coated fiberoptic faceplate. The two L/D = 40, MCPs have a 10.2 mm wide, 8 ohm stripline constructed of 500 nm Copper overcoated with 100 nm Gold. A 4 kV, 150 ps electrical pulse provides an optical gatewidth of 80 ps and spatial resolution has been measured at 20 1p/mm.
Date: June 1, 1996
Creator: Oertel, J.A.; Archuleta, T. & Peterson, C.G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Production of hollow microspheres for inertial confinement fusion experiments

Description: The targets used in inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are plastic capsules roughly 0.5 mm in diameter. The capsules, which typically have wall thicknesses from 20 to 60 {mu}m, must possess extraordinary symmetry and concentricity and must have surface finishes of less than 1000 {Angstrom} peak-to-valley variation over surface contours of from 10 to 100`s of {mu}m. This paper reviews the fabrication of these capsules, focusing on the production of the thin-walled polystyrene microshell mandrel around which the capsule is built. The relationship between the capsule characteristics, especially surface finish, and capsule performance is discussed, as are the methods of surface characterization and modification necessary for experiments designed to study the effects of surface roughness on implosion dynamics. Targets for the next generation of ICF facilities using more powerful laser drivers will have to be larger while meeting the same or even more stringent symmetry and surface finish requirements. Some of the technologies for meeting these needs are discussed briefly.
Date: December 1, 1994
Creator: Cook, R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

XUV radiography measurements of direct drive imprint in thin aluminum foils using a Ge x-ray laser on Vulcan

Description: One key aspect for high gain direct drive inertial confinement fusion is the imprint of perturbations in the outer surface of a capsule due to nonuniformities in the direct laser illumination of the capsule. Direct drive implosions are achieved by uniformly irradiating the outside surface of a hollow spherical capsule that contains a layer of fusionable D-T on its inner surface. The intensity of laser irradiation is down with a low intensity ``foot`` at 10{sup 13} W/cm{sup 2} for several nanoseconds before it builds up to more than 10{sup 15} W/cm{sup 2} during the main drive portion of the pulse. Laser ablation of the capsule surface produces a high pressure that accelerates the capsule shell radially inward in a spherical implosion. During this acceleration, perturbations due to surface roughness and due to imprint from spatial nonuniformities in the laser irradiation undergo Rayleigh-Taylor growth, potentially severely degrading performance. Our interest is in studying the imprint process and subsequent Rayleigh-Taylor growth of perturbations in a foil target that is irradiated by a low intensity laser speckle pattern. Previous experiments have been done to study laser imprint with an x-ray laser backlighter at the Nova laser using 0.35 micrometer laser irradiation of a 3 micrometer Si foil. In these experiments we irradiated a 2 micrometer thick Al foil with 0.53 micrometer laser light at 2-8 {times} 10{sup 12} W/cm{sup 2} using the Vulcan laser. We used a Ge x-ray laser as an XUV backlighter to measure the modulation in optical depth of the foil on a CCD during the initial imprint phase and after Rayleigh-Taylor growth with different laser smoothing schemes. 4 refs., 6 figs.
Date: March 29, 1996
Creator: Kalantar, D.H.; Demir, A. & Key, M.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Large area damage testing of optics

Description: The damage threshold specifications for the National Ignition Facility will include a mixture of standard small-area tests and new large-area tests. During our studies of laser damage and conditioning processes of various materials we have found that some damage morphologies are fairly small and this damage does not grow with further illumination. This type of damage might not be detrimental to the laser performance. We should therefore assume that some damage can be allowed on the optics, but decide on a maximum damage allowance of damage. A new specification of damage threshold termed {open_quotes}functional damage threshold{close_quotes} was derived. Further correlation of damage size and type to system performance must be determined in order to use this measurement, but it is clear that it will be a large factor in the optics performance specifications. Large-area tests have verified that small-area testing is not always sufficient when the optic in question has defect-initiated damage. This was evident for example on sputtered polarizer and mirror coatings where the defect density was low enough that the features could be missed by standard small- area testing. For some materials, the scale-length at which damage non-uniformities occur will effect the comparison of small-area and large-area tests. An example of this was the sub-aperture tests on KD*P crystals on the Beamlet test station. The tests verified the large-area damage threshold to be similar to that found when testing a small-area. Implying that for this KD*P material, the dominate damage mechanism is of sufficiently small scale-length that small-area testing is capable of determining the threshold. The Beamlet test station experiments also demonstrated the use of on-line laser conditioning to increase the crystals damage threshold.
Date: April 26, 1996
Creator: Sheehan, L.; Kozlowski, M. & Stolz, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A novel method for diagnosing the growth of subresolution-scale perturbations

Description: We have demonstrated a technique for diagnosing the growth of subresolution-scale perturbations by the appearance of longer-wavelength, coupled modes once the growth has proceeded into the nonlinear regime. Comparison of the growth rate of this larger scale feature with numerical simulations can then be used to infer the growth rates of the initial perturbations. This experiment was conceived as an analog of large-scale computer simulations where the large eddy approximation is applied. There a subgrid-scale model is used to represent the effects of small scales on large-scale motion, which is directly numerically simulated.
Date: May 3, 1996
Creator: Budil, K. S.; Remington, B. A. & Perry, T. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

NIF capsule design update

Description: We describe several ignition capsule designs, for use in the National Ignition Facility. We will compare these designs for ablator efficiency, ignition margin, implosion and stability performance. This study includes capsule designs driven by x-ray drive profiles with both 300 eV and 250 eV peak temperatures. All of the 300 eV designs are tuned to implode the DT fuel in a nearly identical manner. Capsule designs consist of an ablator material (CH with Br dopant; Be with Cu dopant; and B{sub 4}C) encasing a layer of solid DT. The dopants alter material opacities sufficiently to (1) shield the DT fuel from preheat effects; and (2) develop an ablation front density profile favorable to implosion stability. B{sub 4}C has sufficient opacity at 300 eV that a dopant is not necessary. Issues relating to material properties and fabrication will be described.
Date: October 1, 1996
Creator: Dittrich, T.R.; Haan, S.W.; Pollaine, S.; Burnham, A.K. & Strobel, G.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

National Ignition Facility design, performance, and cost

Description: A conceptual design for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) has been completed and its cost has been estimated by a multilaboratory team. To maximize the performance/cost ratio a compact, segmented amplifier is used in a multipass architecture. Many recent optical and laser technology developments have been incorporated into the final design. The Beamlet project has successfully demonstrated the new concept. The mission of ICF Program using the NEF is to achieve ignition and gain in the laboratory. The facility will be used for defense applications such as weapons physics and weapons effects experiments, and for civilian applications such as inertial fusion energy development and fundamental studies of matter at high energy density.
Date: September 16, 1994
Creator: Hogan, W.J.; Paisner, J.A. & Lowdermilk, W.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Richtmyer-Meshkov instability experiments on the Nova laser from nonlinear initial perturbations

Description: We present the results from a series of experiments recently completed on the Nova laser studying the growth of the Richtmyer-Meshkov instability from an initially nonlinear perturbation. These are the first experimental measurements of the time-dependent mixing of materials at a shocked interface from a high-amplitude, short-wavelength perturbation in a high Mach number regime. The experiments were simulated using CALE, a two-dimensional arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian hydrodynamics code. The calculations correctly captured the measured growth of the mixing zone from the initial applied perturbation. The simulations also permitted consideration of nonideal effects (e.g. post-shock decompression) required to compare the results of calculation and experiment with theory. Both the experiment and calculations were found to be in good agreement with recent theories for the nonlinear evolution of the instability.
Date: February 1, 1996
Creator: Peyser, T.A.; Miller, P.L.; Stry, P.E.; Budil, K.S. & Burke, E.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department