Recent results from experimental studies on laser-plasma coupling in a shock ignition relevant regime

P. Koester, L. Antonelli, S. Atzeni, J. Badziak, F. Baffigi, D. Batani, C.A. Cecchetti, T. Chodukowski, F. Consoli, G. Cristoforetti, R De Angelis, G. Folpini, L.A. Gizzi, Z. Kalinowska, E. Krousky, M. Kucharik, L. Labate, T. Levato, R. Liska, G. MalkaY. Maheut, A. Marocchino, P. Nicolai, T. O'Dell, P. Parys, T. Pisarczyk, P. Raczka, O. Renner, Y.J. Rhee, X. Ribeyre, M. Richetta, M. Rosinski, L. Ryc, J. Skala, A. Schiavi, G. Schurtz, M. Smid, C. Spindloe, J. Ullschmied, J. Wolowski, A. Zaras

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Shock ignition (SI) is an appealing approach in the inertial confinement scenario for the ignition and burn of a pre-compressed fusion pellet. In this scheme, a strong converging shock is launched by laser irradiation at an intensity Iλ2> 1015W cm-2μm2at the end of the compression phase. In this intensity regime, laser-plasma interactions are characterized by the onset of a variety of instabilities, including stimulated Raman scattering, Brillouin scattering and the two plasmon decay, accompanied by the generation of a population of fast electrons. The effect of the fast electrons on the efficiency of the shock wave production is investigated in a series of dedicated experiments at the Prague Asterix Laser Facility (PALS). We study the laser-plasma coupling in a SI relevant regime in a planar geometry by creating an extended preformed plasma with a laser beam at ∼7 × 1013W cm-2(250 ps, 1315 nm). A strong shock is launched by irradiation with a second laser beam at intensities in the range 1015-1016W cm-2(250 ps, 438 nm) at various delays with respect to the first beam. The pre-plasma is characterized using x-ray spectroscopy, ion diagnostics and interferometry. Spectroscopy and calorimetry of the backscattered radiation is performed in the spectral range 250-850 nm, including (3/2)ω, ω and ω/2 emission. The fast electron production is characterized through spectroscopy and imaging of the Kα emission. Information on the shock pressure is obtained using shock breakout chronometry and measurements of the craters produced by the shock in a massive target. Preliminary results show that the backscattered energy is in the range 3-15%, mainly due to backscattered light at the laser wavelength (438 nm), which increases with increasing the delay between the two laser beams. The values of the peak shock pressures inferred from the shock breakout times are lower than expected from 2D numerical simulations. The same simulations reveal that the 2D effects play a major role in these experiments, with the laser spot size comparable with the distance between critical and ablation layers. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Article number124045
Pages (from-to)-
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Koester, P., Antonelli, L., Atzeni, S., Badziak, J., Baffigi, F., Batani, D., Cecchetti, C. A., Chodukowski, T., Consoli, F., Cristoforetti, G., Angelis, R. D., Folpini, G., Gizzi, L. A., Kalinowska, Z., Krousky, E., Kucharik, M., Labate, L., Levato, T., Liska, R., ... Zaras, A. (2013). Recent results from experimental studies on laser-plasma coupling in a shock ignition relevant regime. Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, 55(12), -. [124045].