NIF unconverted light and its influence on DANTE measurements

Girard, Frederic; Suter, Larry; Landen, Otto; Munro, Dave; Regan, Sean; Kline, John
June 2009
Review of Scientific Instruments;Jun2009, Vol. 80 Issue 6, p063104
Academic Journal
NIF laser facility produces 1053 nm light and a fundamental requirement for NIF is to give up to 1.8 MJ of 351 nm light for target physics experiments. The 351 nm light is provided by frequency tripling the 1053 nm light in nonlinear crystals in the final optics assembly, just before the laser light enters the target chamber. Since this tripling process is not 100% efficient, unconverted light from the conversion process also enters the chamber. This unconverted light does not directly hit the target but it can strike target support structures at average intensities of few TW/cm2 where it can generate unwanted, background soft x-rays that are measured by the soft x-ray diagnostic DANTE installed on the NIF target chamber. This diagnostic quantifies the x-radiation intensity inside the hohlraum by measuring the x-ray flux coming from the target’s laser entrance hole. Due to its centimeter wide field of view, it integrates x-ray emission from both the flux exiting a hohlraum laser entrance hole and from the target support structure irradiated by residual 1ω and 2ω unconverted light. This work gives quantitative evaluations of the unconverted light for the first time and the effects on DANTE measurements for the future NIF tuning experiment called “Shock timing.” Emission spectra are significantly modified leading to an overestimation of radiative temperature during the foot of the laser pulse since background x-rays are predominant in first two DANTE channel measurements. Mitigations of these effects by coating silicon paddle with plastic, using a smaller collimator to reduce DANTE field of view or eliminating DANTE channels in the analysis have been investigated.


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