Hot electrons generated from laser plasma instabilities degrade performance of direct drive implosions by preheating the deuterium and tritium (DT) fuel resulting in early decompression and lower areal densities at stagnation. A technique to quantify the hot electron preheat of the dense DT fuel and connect it to the degradation in areal density is described in detail. Hot electrons are measured primarily from the hard x-rays they emit as they slow down in the target. The DT preheat is inferred from a comparison of the hard x-ray signals between a DT-layered implosion and its mass equivalent ablator only implosion. The preheat energy spatial distribution within the imploding shell is inferred from experiments using high Z payloads of varying thicknesses. It is found that the electrons deposit their energy uniformly throughout the shell material. For typical direct-drive OMEGA implosions driven with an overlapped intensity of , approximately of the laser energy is converted into preheat of the stagnated fuel which corresponds to areal density degradations of 10%–20%. The degradations in areal density explain some of the observed discrepancies between the simulated and measured areal densities.
Inferences of hot electron preheat and its spatial distribution in OMEGA direct drive implosions
A. R. Christopherson, R. Betti, C. J. Forrest, J. Howard, W. Theobald, E. M. Campbell, J. Delettrez, M. J. Rosenberg, A. A. Solodov, C. Stoeckl, D. Patel, V. Gopalaswamy, D. Cao, J. Peebles, D. Edgell, W. Seka, R. Epstein, W. Scullin, P. B. Radha, M. S. Wei, S. P. Regan, M. Gatu Johnson, R. Simpson; Inferences of hot electron preheat and its spatial distribution in OMEGA direct drive implosions. Phys. Plasmas 1 December 2022; 29 (12): 122703. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0091220
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