Laser absorption, mass ablation rate, and shock heating in direct-drive inertial confinement fusion

S. P. Regan, R. Epstein, V. N. Goncharov, I. V. Igumenshchev, D. Li, P. B. Radha, H. Sawada, W. Seka, T. R. Boehly, J. A. Delettrez, O. V. Gotchev, J. P. Knauer, J. A. Marozas, F. J. Marshall, R. L. McCrory, P. W. McKenty, D. D. Meyerhofer, T. C. Sangster, D. Shvarts, S. SkupskyV. A. Smalyuk, B. Yaakobi, R. C. Mancini

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Direct-drive laser absorption, mass ablation rate, and shock heating are experimentally studied on the OMEGA Laser System [T. R. Boehly, Opt. Commun. 133, 495 (1997)] to validate hydrodynamics simulations. High-gain, direct-drive inertial confinement fusion target implosions require accurate predictions of the shell adiabat α (entropy), defined as the pressure in the main fuel layer to the Fermi-degenerate pressure, and the implosion velocity of the shell. The laser pulse shape determines the shell adiabat and the hydrodynamic efficiency determines the implosion velocity. A comprehensive set of measurements tracking the flow of energy from the laser to the target was conducted. Time-resolved measurements of laser absorption in the corona are performed on spherical implosion experiments. The mass ablation rate is inferred from time-resolved Ti K-shell spectroscopic measurements of nonaccelerating, solid CH spherical targets with a buried tracer layer of Ti. Shock heating is diagnosed in planar-CH-foil targets using time-resolved x-ray absorption spectroscopy and noncollective spectrally resolved x-ray scattering. The highly reproducible experimental results achieved with a high level of laser drive uniformity [S. P. Regan, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 22, 998 (2005)] constrain the modeling of direct-drive energy coupling. A detailed comparison of the experimental results and the simulations reveals that a single-value flux limiter in the thermal transport model cannot explain all of the experimental observables. Simulations of laser absorption measurements need a time-dependent flux limiter to match the data. Modeling of both resonance absorption and nonlocal effects in the electron thermal conduction from the critical density to the ablation front are underway to resolve the observed discrepancies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number056305
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number5
StatePublished - 11 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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