AIP Digital Archive
Irradiation nonuniformities in direct-drive (DD) inertial confinement fusion experiments generate, or "imprint," surface modulations that degrade the symmetry of the implosion and reduce the target performance. To gain physical insight, an analytical model of imprint is developed. The model takes into account the hydrodynamic flow, the dynamics of the conduction zone, and the mass ablation. The important parameters are found to be the time scale for plasma atmosphere formation and the ablation velocity. The model is validated by comparisons to detailed two-dimensional (2D) hydrocode simulations. The results of the model and simulations are in good agreement with a series of planar-foil imprint experiments performed on the OMEGA laser system [T.R. Boehly, D.L. Brown, R.S. Craxton et al., Opt. Commun. 133, 495 (1997)]. Direct-drive National Ignition Facility's [J.A. Paisner, J.D. Boyes, S.A. Kumpan, W.H. Lowdermilk, and M.S. Sorem, Laser Focus World 30, 75 (1994)] cryogenic targets are shown to have gains larger than 10 when the rms laser-irradiation nonuniformity is reduced by 2D smoothing by spectral dispersion (SSD) used in the current DD target designs.
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