Anomalous yield reduction in direct-drive deuterium/tritium implosions due to 3He addition

Herrmann, H. W.; Langenbrunner, J. R.; Mack, J. M.; Cooley, J. H.; Wilson, D. C.; Evans, S. C.; Sedillo, T. J.; Kyrala, G. A.; Caldwell, S. E.; Young, C. S.; Nobile, A.; Wermer, J.; Paglieri, S.; McEvoy, A. M.; Kim, Y.; Batha, S. H.; Horsfield, C. J.; Drew, D.; Garbett, W.; Rubery, M.
May 2009
Physics of Plasmas;May2009, Vol. 16 Issue 5, p056312
Academic Journal
Glass capsules were imploded in direct drive on the OMEGA laser [Boehly et al., Opt. Commun. 133, 495 (1997)] to look for anomalous degradation in deuterium/tritium (DT) yield and changes in reaction history with 3He addition. Such anomalies have previously been reported for D/3He plasmas but had not yet been investigated for DT/3He. Anomalies such as these provide fertile ground for furthering our physics understanding of inertial confinement fusion implosions and capsule performance. Anomalous degradation in the compression component of yield was observed, consistent with the “factor of 2” degradation previously reported by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at a 50% 3He atom fraction in D2 using plastic capsules [Rygg, Phys. Plasmas 13, 052702 (2006)]. However, clean calculations (i.e., no fuel-shell mixing) predict the shock component of yield quite well, contrary to the result reported by MIT but consistent with Los Alamos National Laboratory results in D2/3He [Wilson et al., J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 112, 022015 (2008)]. X-ray imaging suggests less-than-predicted compression of capsules containing 3He. Leading candidate explanations are poorly understood equation of state for gas mixtures and unanticipated particle pressure variation with increasing 3He addition.


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