A transmission line circuit model was conducted to compare the performances of the two-level 2.5 Ω magnetically insulated transmission lines (MITLs) system of a 5-MA linear-transformer-driver (LTD) accelerator for two kinds of typical loads, including bremsstrahlung electron beam diodes and Z-pinch loads. Both the electron current loss in the pulse front during the magnetic insulation setup process and the electron flow distribution in the magnetic insulation steady state were analyzed. When the accelerator drives an electron beam diode load with impedance of 1.20 Ω (a single level), the duration of the magnetic insulation setup is about 12 ns, the current loss is about 130 kA in a single MITL level, the maximum electron flow current is about 50 kA in the end of MITL, and its amplitude decreases gradually after the steady magnetic insulation is established. When the accelerator drives a Z-pinch load with length of 1.5 cm, radius of 1.2 cm, and mass of 0.3 mg/cm, the duration of the magnetic insulation setup is almost zero, the maximum electron flow current in the end of MITL can reach about 55 kA (a single level), and the waveform of the electron flow resembles a saddle shape, which reaches the peak at the pinch stagnation time.
Solid-state nuclear track detectors (CR-39 type) are frequently used for the detection of ions accelerated by laser-plasma interaction because they are sensitive to each single particle. To the present day, CR-39 detectors are the main diagnostics in experiments focused on laser-driven proton-boron (p11B) fusion reactions to detect alpha particles, which are the main products of such a nuclear reaction, and to reconstruct their energy distribution. However, the acceleration of multispecies ions in the laser-generated plasma makes this spectroscopic method complex and often does not allow to unambiguously discriminate the alpha particles generated from p11B fusion events from the laser-driven ions. In this experimental work, performed at the PALS laser facility (600 J, 300 ps, laser intensity 1016 W/cm2), CR-39 detectors were used as main detectors for the angular distribution of the produced alpha particles during a p11B fusion dedicated experimental campaign. Additionally, a CR-39 detector was set inside a Thomson Parabola (TP) spectrometer with the aim to calibrate the CR-39 response for low energetic laser-driven ions originating from the plasma in the given experimental conditions. The detected ion energies were ranging from hundreds of keV to a few MeV, and the ion track diameters were measured for etching times up to 9 hours. The goal of the test was the evaluation of the detectors’ ability to discriminate the alpha particles from the aforementioned ions. Within this study, the calibration curves for protons and silicon low energy ions are accomplished, the overlapping of the proton tracks and alpha particles is verified, and a methodology to avoid this problem is realized.
Laser-driven wakefield acceleration (LWFA) has attracted lots of attention in recent years. However, few writers have been able to make systematic research into the bow waves generated along with the wake waves. Research about the bow waves will help to improve the understanding about the motion of the electrons near the wake waves. In addition, the relativistic energetic electron density peaks have great potential in electron acceleration and reflecting flying mirrors. In this paper, the bow waves generated in laser-plasma interactions as well as the effects of different laser and plasma parameters are investigated. Multidimensional particle-in-cell simulations are made to present the wake waves and bow waves by showing the electron density and momentum distribution as well as the electric field along x and y directions. The evolution of the bow wave structure is investigated by measuring the open angle between the bow wave and the wake wave cavity. The angle as well as the peak electron density and transverse momentum is demonstrated with respect to different laser intensities, spot sizes, plasma densities, and preplasma lengths. The density peak emits high-order harmonics up to 150 orders and can be a new kind of “flying mirror” to generate higher order harmonics. The study on the bow waves is important for further investigation on the electron motion around the wake waves, generation of dense electron beams, generation of high-order harmonics, and other research and applications based on the bow waves.
Earlier, the experiments on the aneutronic proton-boron (pB) fusion in a miniature nanosecond vacuum discharge (NVD) with oscillatory plasma confinement and correspondent α particles yield were presented. In this work, we consider some specific features of oscillatory confinement as a relatively new type of plasma confinement for fusion. Particle-in-cell (PiC) simulations of pB fusion processes have shown that the plasma in NVD, and especially on the discharge axis, is in a state close to a quasineutral one, which is rather different from the conditions in the well-known scheme of periodically oscillating plasma spheres (POPSs) suggested earlier for fusion. Apparently, small-scale oscillations in NVD are a mechanism of resonant ion heating, unlike coherent compressions in the original POPS scheme. Nevertheless, the favorable scaling of the fusion power in NVD turns out to be close to the POPS fusion but differs significantly both in the compression ratio and in the values of the parameter of quasineutrality. In addition, unlike the POPS scheme, PiC simulation reveals that the distribution functions of protons and boron ions in NVD are non-Maxwellian. Therefore, we have an aneutronic pB synthesis in a nonequilibrium plasma remaining “nonignited” on the discharge axis.
In preparation for an experiment with a laser-generated intense proton beam at the Laser Fusion Research Center at Mianyang to investigate the 11B(p,α)2α reaction, we performed a measurement at very low proton energy between 140 keV and 172 keV using the high-voltage platform at the Institute of Modern Physics, Lanzhou. The aim of the experiment was to test the ability to use CR-39 track detectors for cross-section measurements and to remeasure the cross-section of this reaction close to the first resonance using the thick target approach. We obtained the cross-section σ = 45.6 ± 12.5 mb near 156 keV. Our result confirms the feasibility of CR-39 type track detector for nuclear reaction measurement also in low-energy regions.