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Title: Electron Shock Ignition of Inertial Fusion Targets

Abstract

Here, it is shown that inertial fusion targets designed with low implosion velocities can be shock ignited using laser–plasma interaction generated hot electrons (hot-e) to obtain high-energy gains. These designs are robust to multimode asymmetries and are predicted to ignite even for significantly distorted implosions. Electron shock ignition requires tens of kilojoules of hot-e, which can only be produced on a large laser facility like the National Ignition Facility, with the laser to hot-e conversion efficiency greater than 10% at laser intensities ~10 16 W/cm 2.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Univ. of Rochester, Rochester, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Rochester, Rochester, NY (United States). Lab. for Laser Energetics
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1409067
Report Number(s):
2016-119, 1362
Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007; PRLTAO; 2016-119, 2319, 1362; TRN: US1702958
Grant/Contract Number:
NA0001944; FC02-04ER54789; SC0012316
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physical Review Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 119; Journal Issue: 19; Journal ID: ISSN 0031-9007
Publisher:
American Physical Society (APS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Shang, W. L., Betti, R., Hu, S. X., Woo, K., Hao, L., Ren, C., Christopherson, A. R., Bose, A., and Theobald, W.. Electron Shock Ignition of Inertial Fusion Targets. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.195001.
Shang, W. L., Betti, R., Hu, S. X., Woo, K., Hao, L., Ren, C., Christopherson, A. R., Bose, A., & Theobald, W.. Electron Shock Ignition of Inertial Fusion Targets. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.195001.
Shang, W. L., Betti, R., Hu, S. X., Woo, K., Hao, L., Ren, C., Christopherson, A. R., Bose, A., and Theobald, W.. 2017. "Electron Shock Ignition of Inertial Fusion Targets". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.195001.
@article{osti_1409067,
title = {Electron Shock Ignition of Inertial Fusion Targets},
author = {Shang, W. L. and Betti, R. and Hu, S. X. and Woo, K. and Hao, L. and Ren, C. and Christopherson, A. R. and Bose, A. and Theobald, W.},
abstractNote = {Here, it is shown that inertial fusion targets designed with low implosion velocities can be shock ignited using laser–plasma interaction generated hot electrons (hot-e) to obtain high-energy gains. These designs are robust to multimode asymmetries and are predicted to ignite even for significantly distorted implosions. Electron shock ignition requires tens of kilojoules of hot-e, which can only be produced on a large laser facility like the National Ignition Facility, with the laser to hot-e conversion efficiency greater than 10% at laser intensities ~1016 W/cm2.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.195001},
journal = {Physical Review Letters},
number = 19,
volume = 119,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month =
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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  • In some regions of a laser driven inertial fusion target, the electron mean-free path can become comparable to or even longer than the electron temperature gradient scale-length. This can be particularly important in shock-ignited (SI) targets, where the laser-spike heated corona reaches temperatures of several keV. In this case, thermal conduction cannot be described by a simple local conductivity model and a Fick's law. Fluid codes usually employ flux-limited conduction models, which preserve causality, but lose important features of the thermal flow. A more accurate thermal flow modeling requires convolution-like non-local operators. In order to improve the simulation of SImore » targets, the non-local electron transport operator proposed by Schurtz-Nicolaï-Busquet [G. P. Schurtz et al., Phys. Plasmas 7, 4238 (2000)] has been implemented in the DUED fluid code. Both one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) simulations of SI targets have been performed. 1D simulations of the ablation phase highlight that while the shock profile and timing might be mocked up with a flux-limiter; the electron temperature profiles exhibit a relatively different behavior with no major effects on the final gain. The spike, instead, can only roughly be reproduced with a fixed flux-limiter value. 1D target gain is however unaffected, provided some minor tuning of laser pulses. 2D simulations show that the use of a non-local thermal conduction model does not affect the robustness to mispositioning of targets driven by quasi-uniform laser irradiation. 2D simulations performed with only two final polar intense spikes yield encouraging results and support further studies.« less
  • Shock ignition, an alternative concept for igniting thermonuclear fuel, is explored as a new approach to high gain, inertial confinement fusion targets for the National Ignition Facility (NIF). Results indicate thermonuclear yields of approx120-250 MJ may be possible with laser drive energies of 1-1.6 MJ, while gains of approx50 may still be achievable at only approx0.2 MJ drive energy. The scaling of NIF energy gain with laser energy is found to be Gapprox126E (MJ){sup 0.510}. This offers the potential for high-gain targets that may lead to smaller, more economic fusion power reactors and a cheaper fusion energy development path.