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Title: Increasing plasma parameters using sheared flow stabilization of a Z-pinch

The ZaP and ZaP-HD Flow Z-pinch experiments at the University of Washington have successfully demonstrated that sheared plasma flows can be used as a stabilization mechanism over a range of parameters that has not previously been accessible to long-lived Z-pinch configurations. The stabilization is effective even when the plasma column is compressed to small radii, producing predicted increases in magnetic field and electron temperature. The flow shear value, extent, and duration are shown to be consistent with theoretical models of the plasma viscosity, which places a design constraint on the maximum axial length of a sheared flow stabilized Z-pinch. Measurements of the magnetic field topology indicate simultaneous azimuthal symmetry and axial uniformity along the entire 100 cm length of the Z-pinch plasma. Separate control of plasma acceleration and compression has increased the accessible plasma parameters and has generated stable plasmas with radii of 0.3 cm, as measured with a high resolution digital holographic interferometer. Compressing the plasma with higher pinch currents has produced high magnetic fields (8.5 T) and electron temperatures (1 keV) with an electron density of 2×10 17 cm -3, while maintaining plasma stability for many Alfvén times (approximately 50 μs). Thus, the results suggest that sheared flowmore » stabilization can be applied to extend Z-pinch plasma parameters to high energy densities.« less
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  1. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States). Aerospace and Energetics Research Program
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
NA0001860; AR-0000571; FG02-04ER54756
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 24; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States); University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195-2400, USA
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24); USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; Z-pinch; sheared flow stabilization; sausage mode; kink mode; high energy density; HEDP; fusion; linear con guration; photon density; plasma flows; shear flows; electrodes; plasma diagnostics; plasma pressure; plasma temperature; magnetic fields; magnetic field measurements
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1348027; OSTI ID: 1465686