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Title: Low-adiabat rugby hohlraum experiments on the National Ignition Facility: Comparison with high-flux modeling and the potential for gas-wall interpenetration

Rugby-shaped gold hohlraums driven by a nominal low-adiabat laser pulse shape have been tested on the National Ignition Facility. The rugby affords a higher coupling efficiency than a comparably sized cylinder hohlraum or, alternatively, improved drive symmetry and laser beam clearances for a larger hohlraum with similar cylinder wall area and laser energy. A first (large rugby hohlraum) shot at low energy (0.75 MJ) to test laser backscatter resulted in a moderately oblate CH capsule implosion, followed by a high energy shot (1.3 MJ) that gave a highly oblate compressed core according to both time-integrated and –resolved x-ray images. These implosions used low wavelength separation (1.0 Å) between the outer and inner cones to provide an alternative platform free of significant cross-beam energy transfer for simplified hohlraum dynamics. Post-shot 2- and 3-D radiation-hydrodynamic simulations using the high-flux model [M. D. Rosen et al., High Energy Density Phys. 7, 180 (2011)], however, give nearly round implosions for both shots, in striking contrast with observations. An analytic assessment of Rayleigh-Taylor hydrodynamic instability growth on the gold–helium gas-fill interface shows the potential for significant linear growth, saturation and transition to a highly nonlinear state. Candidate seeds for instability growth include laser speckle during the early-time lasermore » picket episode in the presence of only partial temporal beam smoothing (1-D smoothing by spectral dispersion and polarization smoothing) and intensity modulations from quad-to-quad and beam overlap. Radiation-hydrodynamic 2-D simulations adapted to include a dynamic fall-line mix model across the unstable Au-He interface show good agreement with the observed implosion symmetry for both shots using an interface-to-fall-line penetration fraction of 100%. Physically, the potential development of an instability layer in a rugby hohlraum is tantamount to an enhanced wall motion leading to hindered inner-beam propagation, due largely to the confluence of rugby shape and low ray angles relative to the hohlraum symmetry axis. A significant inward pointing shift of 500 μm in the outer cones for the third (full energy) shot of the series was used to improve the inner-beam propagation, resulting in a nearly symmetric x-ray self-emission image of the compressed core and reduced sensitivity to mix. Comparatively low time-dependent symmetry swings were also measured, and a significantly lower hot electron fraction was measured for potentially favorable fuel adiabat control. The outer cone stimulated Brillouin scatter levels jumped significantly, but remedial measures such as the use of a boron dopant in the Au wall are planned. A continuing trend of delayed implosion times is found in rugby hohlraums, suggesting levels of unaccounted hohlraum energy (∼150–200 kJ) similar to what is inferred in cylinder hohlraums. A mix-based physical scenario is described, based on suppressed channel heat flux to the dense gold wall from a temperature-gradient reversal induced by a multispecies plasma lapse rate [P. Amendt, C. Bellei, and S. C. Wilks, Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 075002 (2012)].« less
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  1. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94551 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 11; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States