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Title: On the Evolution From Micrometer-Scale Inhomogeneity to Global Overheated Structure During the Intense Joule Heating of a z-Pinch Rod

Ultrafast optical microscopy of metal z-pinch rods pulsed with megaampere current is contributing new data and critical insight into what provides the fundamental seed for the magneto-Rayleigh-Taylor (MRT) instability. A two-frame near infrared/visible intensified-charge-coupled device gated imager with 2-ns temporal resolution and 3-μm spatial resolution captured emissions from the nonuniformly Joule heated surfaces of ultrasmooth aluminum (Al) rods. Nonuniform surface emissions are consistently first observed from discrete, 10-μm scale, subelectronvolt spots. Aluminum 6061 alloy, with micrometer-scale nonmetallic resistive inclusions, forms several times more spots than 99.999% pure Al 5N; 5-10 ns later, azimuthally stretched elliptical spots and distinct strata (40-100 μm wide by 10 μm tall) are observed on Al 6061, but not on Al 5N. In such overheat strata, aligned parallel to the magnetic field, we find that they are highly effective seeds for MRT instability growth. Our data give credence to the hypothesis that early nonuniform Joule heating, such as the electrothermal instability, may provide the dominant seed for MRT.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  3. Univ. of Nevada, Reno, NV (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0093-3813; 649812; TRN: US1702159
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 45; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 0093-3813
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; electrothermal effects; magnetic fields; optical imaging; plasma pinch; plasma stability
OSTI Identifier: