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Title: Grazing incidence liquid metal mirrors (GILMM) as the final optics for laser inertial fusion energy power plants

A thin film of liquid metal serves as a grazing incident liquid metal mirror (GILMM) for robust final optics of an inertial fusion energy (IFE) power plant. The amount of laser light the mirror can withstand, called the damage limit, of a sodium film 85{degree} from normal arbitrarily set by surface temperature rise of 200 C to limit liquid ablation is 57 J/cm{sup 2} normal to the beam for a 20 ns pulse and 1.3 J/cm{sup 2} for a 10 ps pulse of 0.35 pm light. Liquid aluminum can handle 106 J/cm{sup 2}. The damage limit actually should be set by avoiding liquid ablation due to the rapid surface heating which is expected to result in even higher temperatures rises than 200 C and even higher power densities. The liquid surface is kept flat to the required accuracy by a combination of polished substrate, adaptive optics, surface tension and low Reynolds number, laminar flow in the film. The film's substrate must be polished to {+-}0.015 m. Then surface tension keeps the surface smooth over short distances (<10 mm) and low Reynolds number laminar flow keeps the surface smooth by keeping the film thickness constant to less than {+-} 0.01 pmmore » over long distance >10 mm. Adaptive (deformable) optics techniques keep the substrate flat to within {+-}0.06 {micro}m over 100 mm distance and {+-}0.6 {micro}m over 1,000 mm distances. The mirror can withstand the x-ray pulse when located 30 m away from the microexplosions of nominal yield of 400 MJ (50 MJ x rays) when Li is used but for higher atomic number liquids like Na and Al there may be too high a temperature rise forcing use of other x-ray attenuation methods such as xenon gas, which may be needed for first wall protecting anyway. The cumulative damage from neutrons causing warpage of the liquid film's substrate can be compensated by adaptive optics techniques giving the mirrors long life, perhaps 30 years. The GILMM should be applicable to both direct and indirect drive and pulse lengths appropriate to slow compression ({approximately}20 ns) or fast ignition ({approximately}10 ps). Experiments are discussed to verify the predicted damage limit and required smoothness.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
9876
Report Number(s):
UCRL-ID-134612; AT5015032
AT5015032; TRN: US0103226
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 25 Jun 1999
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Research (ER) (US)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; INERTIAL FUSION DRIVERS; LASER FUSION REACTORS; FIRST WALL; LIQUID METALS; MIRRORS; OPTICS; REYNOLDS NUMBER; SURFACE TENSION; THIN FILMS; THERMONUCLEAR REACTOR MATERIALS