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Study of Single Wires and X-pinches as X-ray Sources at Peak Current of 0.9-1.6 MA
AdvisorKantsyrev, Victor L.
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Z-pinches are an efficient means of generating high energy density plasmas for studies related to radiation physics, inertial confinement fusion, and astrophysics. This thesis focuses on the study of single wire (SW) Z-pinches and X-pinches at the UNR Zebra generator with respective currents of 0.9 MA and 1.6 MA. SW loads are interesting because of their relative simplicity. They can be used to analyze aspects of Z-pinches that are not visible in multi-wire arrangements. X-pinch dynamics are unique when compared to other load types. They have been studied in detail on Zebra and other facilities in the past at currents ranging from 0.1-1 MA. In this thesis, X-pinches are studied at higher currents as a possible point-like source for X-ray wave-front splitting interferometry. Comparison with previous research done on X-pinches at 0.9 MA is made. Wire materials used for these studies were stainless steel 304 (primarily iron, Z=26), copper (Z=29), and silver (Z=47). The diagnostic suite includes an array of fast, filtered X-ray diodes, bolometers, time-integrated and time-gated pinhole cameras and spectrometers, and laser shadowgraphy. For the first time on Zebra, a wave-front splitting interferometer was fielded to study possible applications of X-pinch loads and laser plasma sources for X-ray holography on university-scale generators.