Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: High-power laser systems for driving and probing high energy density physics experiments
Author: Patankar, Siddharth
ISNI:       0000 0005 0731 9628
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis describes the construction of a hybrid OPCPA and Nd:Glass based laser system to provide advanced diagnostic capabilities for the MAGPIE pulsed power facility at Imperial College London. The laser system (named Cerberus) is designed to provide one short pulse 500 fs beam for proton probing and two long pulse beams, one for x-ray backlighting and one for Thomson scattering. The aim of this project is to accurately determine plasma parameters in a range of demanding experimental environments. The thesis is split into two sections; the first section provides details about the design and implementation of the laser system while the latter chapters present experimental data obtained on the MAGPIE facilty. The front end for the laser system is based on optically synchronised Optical Parametric Chirped Puled Amplification (OPCPA) which is supplemented by large aperture flashlamp pumped Nd:Glass power amplifiers in the latter stages to increase the energy to the Joule level. The use of optical parametric amplifiers (OPAs) in the pre-amplifier stages reduces gain narrowing, B-integral and improves contrast. Simulations of the dispersive optics for the Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA) system are described in detail. Spatially resolved Thomson scattering was used to measure temperature and velocity of ablation streams in aluminium and tungsten cylindrical wire arrays. The measurements show a peak ow velocity of 120 km/s and agree well with 3D MHD simulations for the case of aluminium. There is discrepancy with the tungsten data caused by the difficulty in handling of collisionality calculations. Novel data showing the self-emission of ions from tungsten radial wire arrays is presented as a key step towards laser driven proton probing of MAGPIE. It is observed that the bulk of the emission corresponds to low energy protons with energies of ~ 100 keV. Protons with energy > 600 keV were observed to emanate from the collapsing magnetic jet using a coded aperture camera. These results offer interesting new prospects in diagnosing wire arrays.
Supervisor: Smith, Roland Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral