TITLE

Numerical study of the ablative Richtmyer-Meshkov instability of laser-irradiated deuterium and deuterium-tritium targets

AUTHOR(S)
Marocchino, Alberto; Atzeni, Stefano; Schiavi, Angelo
PUB. DATE
November 2010
SOURCE
Physics of Plasmas;Nov2010, Vol. 17 Issue 11, p112703
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The Richtmyer-Meshkov instability (RMI) at the ablation front of laser-irradiated planar targets is investigated by two-dimensional numerical hydrodynamics simulations. The linear evolution of perturbations seeded either by surface roughness or target inhomogeneity is studied for perturbation wavelengths in the range 10≤λ≤400 μm and laser intensity 4×1012≤I≤4×1014 W/cm2 (with laser wavelength λlaser=0.35 μm). Thin and thick cryogenic deuterium or deuterium-tritium (DT) planar targets are considered. For targets irradiated at constant intensity, it is found that perturbations with wavelength below a given threshold perform damped oscillations, while perturbations above such a threshold are unstable and oscillate with growing amplitude. This is qualitatively in agreement with theoretical predictions by Goncharov et al. [Phys. Plasmas 13, 012702 (2006)], according to which ablation related processes stabilize perturbations with kDc>1, where Dc is the distance between the ablation front and critical density for laser propagation. For kDc<1 a weakly growing Landau-Darrieus instability (LDI) is instead excited. The stability threshold increases substantially with laser intensity, given the dependence of Dc on laser intensity I (roughly Dc∝I, according to the present simulations). Direct-drive laser fusion targets are irradiated by time-shaped pulses, with a low intensity initial foot. In this case, perturbations with wavelengths below some threshold (about 10 μm, for typical ignition-class all-DT targets) are damped after an initial growth. In a thin target, initial perturbations, either damped or amplified by RMI and LDI, seed the subsequent Rayleigh-Taylor instability. Finally, it is shown that RMI growth of fusion targets can be reduced by using laser pulses including an initial adiabat-shaping picket (originally proposed to reduce the growth of Rayleigh-Taylor instability).
ACCESSION #
55509501

 

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