Laser-driven cylindrical compression of targets for fast electron transport study in warm and dense plasmas

Vauzour, B.; Pérez, F.; Volpe, L.; Lancaster, K.; Nicolaï, Ph.; Batani, D.; Baton, S. D.; Beg, F. N.; Benedetti, C.; Brambrink, E.; Chawla, S.; Dorchies, F.; Fourment, C.; Galimberti, M.; Gizzi, L. A.; Heathcote, R.; Higginson, D. P.; Hulin, S.; Jafer, R.; Köster, P.
April 2011
Physics of Plasmas;Apr2011, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p043108
Academic Journal
Fast ignition requires a precise knowledge of fast electron propagation in a dense hydrogen plasma. In this context, a dedicated HiPER (High Power laser Energy Research) experiment was performed on the VULCAN laser facility where the propagation of relativistic electron beams through cylindrically compressed plastic targets was studied. In this paper, we characterize the plasma parameters such as temperature and density during the compression of cylindrical polyimide shells filled with CH foams at three different initial densities. X-ray and proton radiography were used to measure the cylinder radius at different stages of the compression. By comparing both diagnostics results with 2D hydrodynamic simulations, we could infer densities from 2 to 11 g/cm3 and temperatures from 30 to 120 eV at maximum compression at the center of targets. According to the initial foam density, kinetic, coupled (sometimes degenerated) plasmas were obtained. The temporal and spatial evolution of the resulting areal densities and electrical conductivities allow for testing electron transport in a wide range of configurations.


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