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Title: Effect of defocusing on picosecond laser-coupling into gold cones

Here, we show that defocusing of the laser in the interaction of a picosecond duration, 1.053 μm wavelength, high energy pulse with a cone-wire target does not significantly affect the laser energy coupling efficiency, but does result in a drop in the fast electron effective temperature. This may be beneficial for fast ignition, since not only were more electrons with lower energies seen in the experiment but also the lower prepulse intensity will reduce the amount of preplasma present on arrival of the main pulse, reducing the distance the hot electrons have to travel. We used the Vulcan Petawatt Laser at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and gold cone targets with approximately 1 mm long, 40 μm diameter copper wires attached to their tip. Diagnostics included a quartz crystal imager, a pair of highly oriented pyrolytic graphite crystal spectrometers and a calibrated CCD operating in the single photon counting regime, all of which looked at the copper K{sub α} emission from the wire. A short pulse optical probe, delayed 400 ps relative to the main pulse was employed to diagnose the extent of plasma expansion around the wire. A ray-tracing code modeled the change in intensity on the interior surface of the cone withmore » laser defocusing. Using a model for the wire copper K{sub α} emission coupled to a hybrid Vlasov-Fokker-Planck code, we ran a series of simulations, holding the total energy in electrons constant whilst varying the electron temperature, which support the experimental conclusions.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ; ; ;  [1] ; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [4] ; ; ; ;  [5] ;  [6] ; more »;  [7] ; « less
  1. York Plasma Institute, Department of Physics, University of York, York YO10 5DQ (United Kingdom)
  2. (United Kingdom)
  3. Center for Ultrafast Optical Science, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2099 (United States)
  4. Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton OX11 0QX (United Kingdom)
  5. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0411 (United States)
  6. General Atomics, San Diego, California 92121-1122 (United States)
  7. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California 94550-9234 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22252166
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; CHARGE-COUPLED DEVICES; CONES; COPPER; ELECTRON TEMPERATURE; ELECTRONS; FOKKER-PLANCK EQUATION; GOLD; GRAPHITE; LASERS; PETAWATT POWER RANGE; PHOTONS; PLASMA EXPANSION; PULSES; QUARTZ; SPECTROMETERS; THERMONUCLEAR IGNITION; WIRES