Shock-tuned cryogenic-deuterium-tritium implosion performance on Omega

Sangster, T. C.; Goncharov, V. N.; Betti, R.; Boehly, T. R.; Casey, D. T.; Collins, T. J. B.; Craxton, R. S.; Delettrez, J. A.; Edgell, D. H.; Epstein, R.; Fletcher, K. A.; Frenje, J. A.; Glebov, Y. Yu.; Harding, D. R.; Hu, S. X.; Igumenschev, I. V.; Knauer, J. P.; Loucks, S. J.; Li, C. K.; Marozas, J. A.
May 2010
Physics of Plasmas;May2010, Vol. 17 Issue 5, p056312
Academic Journal
Cryogenic-deuterium-tritium (DT) target compression experiments with low-adiabat (α), multiple-shock drive pulses have been performed on the Omega Laser Facility [T. R. Boehly, D. L. Brown, R. S. Craxton et al., Opt. Commun. 133, 495 (1997)] to demonstrate hydrodynamic-equivalent ignition performance. The multiple-shock drive pulse facilitates experimental shock tuning using an established cone-in-shell target platform [T. R. Boehly, R. Betti, T. R. Boehly et al., Phys. Plasmas 16, 056301 (2009)]. These shock-tuned drive pulses have been used to implode cryogenic-DT targets with peak implosion velocities of 3×107 cm/s at peak drive intensities of 8×1014 W/cm2. During a recent series of α∼2 implosions, one of the two necessary conditions for initiating a thermonuclear burn wave in a DT plasma was achieved: an areal density of approximately 300 mg/cm2 was inferred using the magnetic recoil spectrometer [J. A. Frenje, C. K. Li, F. H. Séguin et al., Phys. Plasmas 16, 042704 (2009)]. The other condition—a burn-averaged ion temperature n of 8–10 keV—cannot be achieved on Omega because of the limited laser energy; the kinetic energy of the imploding shell is insufficient to heat the plasma to these temperatures. A n of approximately 3.4 keV would be required to demonstrate ignition hydrodynamic equivalence [Betti et al., Phys. Plasmas17, 058102 (2010)]. The n reached during the recent series of α∼2 implosions was approximately 2 keV, limited primarily by laser-drive and target nonuniformities. Work is underway to improve drive and target symmetry for future experiments.


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