Role of hot electrons in shock ignition constrained by experiment at the National Ignition Facility

D. Barlow*, T. Goffrey, K. Bennett, R. H.H. Scott, K. Glize, W. Theobald, K. Anderson, A. A. Solodov, M. J. Rosenberg, M. Hohenberger, N. C. Woolsey, P. Bradford, M. Khan, T. D. Arber

*Corresponding author for this work

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Shock ignition is a scheme for direct drive inertial confinement fusion that offers the potential for high gain with the current generation of laser facility; however, the benefits are thought to be dependent on the use of low adiabat implosions without laser-plasma instabilities reducing drive and generating hot electrons. A National Ignition Facility direct drive solid target experiment was used to calibrate a 3D Monte Carlo hot-electron model for 2D radiation-hydrodynamic simulations of a shock ignition implosion. The α = 2.5 adiabat implosion was calculated to suffer a 35% peak areal density decrease when the hot electron population with temperature T h = 55 keV and energy E h = 13 kJ was added to the simulation. Optimizing the pulse shape can recover ∼ 1 / 3 of the peak areal density lost due to a change in shock timing. Despite the harmful impact of laser-plasma instabilities, the simulations indicate shock ignition as a viable method to improve performance and broaden the design space of near ignition high adiabat implosions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number082704
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2022

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