Initial experiments using radial foils on the Cornell Beam Research Accelerator pulsed power generator

Gourdain, P.-A.; Blesener, I. C.; Greenly, J. B.; Hammer, D. A.; Knapp, P. F.; Kusse, B. R.; Schrafel, P. C.
January 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Jan2010, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p012706
Academic Journal
A novel technique involving radial foil explosions can produce high energy density plasmas. A current flows radially inward in a 5 μm thin aluminum foil from a circular anode, which contacts the foil on its outer rim, to the cathode, which connects to the foil at its geometrical center. When using small “pin” cathodes (∼1 mm in diameter) on a medium size pulsed-current generator such as the Cornell Beam Research Accelerator, the central magnetic field approaches 400 T, yielding magnetic pressures larger than 0.5 Mbar. While the dynamics is similar to radial wire arrays, radial foil discharges have very distinct characteristics. First a plasma jet forms, with densities near 5×1018 cm-3. J×B forces lift the foil upward with velocities of ∼200 km/s. A plasma bubble with electron densities superior to 5×1019 cm-3 then develops, surrounding a central plasma column, carrying most of the cathode current. X-ray bursts coming from the center of this column were recorded at 1 keV photon energy. As the magnetic bubble explodes, ballistic plasma projectiles form and escape with velocities exceeding 300 km/s. Laser shadowgraphy and interferometry, gated extreme ultraviolet imaging and miniature Bdot probes are used to investigate the magnetohydrodynamics properties of such configurations.


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