Multi-keV x-ray source development experiments on the National Ignition Facility

Fournier, K. B.; May, M. J.; Colvin, J. D.; Kane, J. O.; Schneider, M.; Dewald, E.; Thomas, C. A.; Compton, S.; Marrs, R. E.; Moody, J.; Bond, E.; Michel, P.; Fisher, J. H.; Newlander, C. D.; Davis, J. F.
August 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Aug2010, Vol. 17 Issue 8, p082701
Academic Journal
We report results from a five shot campaign carried out with Ar–Xe gas-filled targets at the National Ignition Facility (NIF). The targets were shot with ≈350 kJ of 3ω laser energy delivered with a 5 ns trapezoidal laser pulse. We report measured x-ray output from the target in different spectral bands both below and above 1.5 keV photon energies: We find yields of ≈20.5 kJ/sr with peak x-ray power approaching 4 TW/sr over all energies, as measured for the unique viewing angle of our detector, and ≈3.6 kJ/sr with peak x-ray power of 1 TW/sr for x-rays with energies >3 keV. This is a laser-to-x-ray conversion efficiency of 13±1.3% for isotropic x-rays with energies >3 keV. Laser energy reflected by the target plasma for both inner and outer-cone beams is measured and found to be small, between 1% and 4% of the drive energy. The energy emitted in hard x-rays (with energies >25 keV) is measured and found to be ≈1 J/sr. Two-dimensional imaging of the target plasma during the laser pulse confirms a fast, volumetric heating of the entire target, resulting in efficient laser-to-x-ray conversion. Postshot simulations with a two-dimensional radiation-hydrodynamics code reproduce well the observed x-ray flux and fluence, backscattered light, and bulk target motion.


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