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The study of hard x-ray emission and electron beam generation in wire array Z-pinch and X-pinch plasmas at University- scale generators
AuthorShrestha, Ishor Kumar
AdvisorKantsyrev, Victor L.
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The studies of hard x-ray (HXR) emission and electron beam generation in Z-pinch plasmas are very important for Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) research and HXR emission application for sources of K-shell and L-shell radiation. Energetic electron beams from Z-pinch plasmas are potentially a problem in the development of ICF. The electron beams and the accompanying HXR emission can preheat the fuel of a thermonuclear target, thereby preventing the fuel compression from reaching densities required for the ignition of a fusion reaction. The photons above 3-4 keV radiated from a Z pinch can provide detailed information about the high energy density plasmas produced at stagnation. Hence, the investigation of characteristics of hard x-rays and electron beams produced during implosions of wire array loads on university scale-generators may provide important data for future ICF, sources of K-shell and L-shell radiations and basic plasma research. This dissertation presents the results of experimental studies of HXR and electron beam generation in wire-array and X-pinch on the 1.7 MA, 100-ns current rise time Zebra generator at University of Nevada, Reno and 1-MA 100-ns current rise-time Cornell Beam Research Accelerator (COBRA) at Cornell University. The experimental study of characteristics of HXR produced by multi-planar wire arrays, compact cylindrical wire array (CCWA) and nested cylindrical wire array (NCWA) made from Al, Cu, Mo, Ag, W and Au were analyzed. The dependence of the HXR yield and power on geometry of the load, the wire material, and load mass was observed. The presence of aluminum wires in the load with the main material such as stainless steel, Cu, Mo, Ag, W or Au in combined wire array decreases HXR yield. The comparison of emission characteristics of HXR and generation of electron beams in CCWA and NCWA on both the high impedance Zebra generator and low impedance COBRA generator were investigated. Some of the "cold" K- shell spectral lines (0.7-2.3Ǻ) and cold L-shell spectral lines (1-1.54Ǻ) in the HXR region were observed only during the interaction of electron beam with load material and anode surface. These observations suggest that the mechanism of HXR emission should be associated with non-thermal mechanisms such as the interaction of the electron beam with the load material. In order to estimate the characteristics of the high-energetic electron beam in Z-pinch plasmas, a hard x-ray polarimeter (HXP) has been developed and used in experiments on the Zebra generator. The electron beams (energy more than 30keV) have been investigated with measurements of the polarization state of the emitted bremsstrahlung radiation from plasma. We also analyzed characteristics of energetic electron beams produced by implosions of multi-planar wire arrays, compact cylindrical and nested wire arrays as well as X-pinches. Direct indications of electron beams (electron cutoff energy EB from 42-250 keV) were obtained by using the measured current of a Faraday cup placed above the anode or mechanical damage observed in the anode surface. A comparison of total electron beam energy and the spatial and spectral analysis of the parameters of plasmas were investigated for different wire materials. The dependences of the total electron beam energy (Eb) on the wire material and the geometry of the wire array load were studied.