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Title: On the importance of minimizing “coast-time” in x-ray driven inertially confined fusion implosions

By the time an inertially confined fusion (ICF) implosion has converged a factor of 20, its surface area has shrunk 400×, making it an inefficient x-ray energy absorber. So, ICF implosions are traditionally designed to have the laser drive shut off at a time, t off, well before bang-time, t BT, for a coast-time of t coast = t BT – t off > 1 ns. High-foot implosions on NIF showed a strong dependence of many key ICF performance quantities on reduced coast-time (by extending the duration of laser power after the peak power is first reached), most notably stagnation pressure and fusion yield. Herein we show that the ablation pressure, p abl, which drives high-foot implosions, is essentially triangular in temporal shape, and that reducing t coast boosts p abl by as much as ~2× prior to stagnation thus increasing fuel and hot-spot compression and implosion speed. One-dimensional simulations are used to track hydrodynamic characteristics for implosions with various coast-times and various assumed rates of hohlraum cooling after t off to illustrate how the late-time conditions exterior to the implosion can impact the fusion performance. A simple rocket model-like analytic theory demonstrates that reducing coast-time can lead to amore » ~15% higher implosion velocity because the reduction in x-ray absorption efficiency at late-time is somewhat compensated by small (~5%–10%) ablator mass remaining. Together with the increased ablation pressure, the additional implosion speed for short coast-time implosions can boost the stagnation pressure by ~2× as compared to a longer coast-time version of the same implosion. Four key dimensionless parameters are identified and we find that reducing coast-time to as little as 500 ps still provides some benefit. Lastly, we show how the high-foot implosion data is consistent with the above mentioned picture.« less
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  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X; TRN: US1703246
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 24; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1378148