Congratulations to Will Trickey, a York Fusion CDT student who successfully defended his thesis at viva in November 2020. Will’s thesis is entitled “Novel Approaches to Indirect Inertial Confinement Fusion” and his supervisor is Dr John Pasley. An abstract from Will’s thesis is below.
Well done Will!
This thesis describes work that developed new techniques towards indirect drive inertial confinement fusion. The work predominantly used the 1-dimensional (1D) and 2-dimensional (2D) versions of the radiation hydrodynamics HYADES.
The scaling of ablation pressures produced by irradiation of soft X-rays was investigated. Materials with atomic numbers between 3.5 and 22 were irradiated by X-ray sources with radiation temperatures ranging from 100 eV to 400 eV. For each material, pressure scaling laws were determined as a function of temperature and time. Additionally, the maximum drive temperature for subsonic ablation was found for all the materials. Materials with high atomic number tend to have weaker pressure scaling but higher maximum subsonic drive temperatures.
The next study found the laser drive parameters required to produce shock-ignition-like pressures through indirect drive. First, 1D simulations found an X-ray drive profile that is capable of producing shock-ignition-like pressures in a beryllium target. From there, 2D simulations were carried out to simulate the laser to X-ray conversion in a hohlraum. A laser drive profile was found that was capable of producing the required X-ray intensity profile.
The final piece of work developed a new technique for controlling the X-ray flux inside hohlraums using burn-through barriers. Hohlraum designs that use multiple chambers separated by burn-through barriers were proposed. The burn-through barriers are used to modulate the spatial and temporal properties of the X-rays as they flow between the chambers. It is shown how a number of different barrier designs can be used to manipulate the properties of the X-rays in both time and space.