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Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Feb 5;104(5):055002. Epub 2010 Feb 4.

Limitation on prepulse level for cone-guided fast-ignition inertial confinement fusion.

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  • 1Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California, USA.


The viability of fast-ignition (FI) inertial confinement fusion hinges on the efficient transfer of laser energy to the compressed fuel via multi-MeV electrons. Preformed plasma due to the laser prepulse strongly influences ultraintense laser plasma interactions and hot electron generation in the hollow cone of an FI target. We induced a prepulse and consequent preplasma in copper cone targets and measured the energy deposition zone of the main pulse by imaging the emitted K_{alpha} radiation. Simulation of the radiation hydrodynamics of the preplasma and particle in cell modeling of the main pulse interaction agree well with the measured deposition zones and provide an insight into the energy deposition mechanism and electron distribution. It was demonstrated that a under these conditions a 100 mJ prepulse eliminates the forward going component of approximately 2-4 MeV electrons.

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