Kinetic Effects and Neutron Generation in Converging Fully Ionized Plasma Jets

William Riedel, Stanford University

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In this work, the use of laser-driven "inverted corona" fusion targets is investigated for the study of counter-streaming and converging rarefied plasma flows. Previous experiments have demonstrated the potential of such targets as neutron sources1-2. The plasma streams generated in these targets are initially nearly collisionless as they converge, leading to wide interaction length scales and long interaction time scales as the jets interpenetrate. Such interactions are difficult to accurately model using standard magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations, which assume high collisionality. Instead we model the system kinetically using the hybrid particle-in-cell (PIC) code Chicago3-4 to explore the importance of kinetic effects during stagnation. Predicted neutron yields and stagnation properties (density and temperature) for upcoming experiments at the OMEGA laser facility are presented. 1A.V. Bessarab, et al., Sov. Phys. JETP 75, 970 (1992). 2G. Ren et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 165001 (2017). 3C. Thoma et al., Phys. Plasmas 24, 062707 (2017). 4D.P. Higginson et al., Phys. Plasmas 26, 012113 (2019).

Abstract Author(s): William Riedel], Nathan Meezan, Drew Higginson, Matthias Hohenberger, Mark Cappelli, Siegfried Grenzer