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Plasma Kinetics of the NRL High Efficiency Electron-Beam-Pumped Argon Fluoride Laser

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[Technical Report, Memorandum Report]

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The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory NRL is the world leader in the development of high-energy excimer laser science and technology S. P. Obenschain, et al., Appl. Optics 54 2015 103-122. The ArF laser is being scaled in power and energy to become a potential direct or indirect driver for inertial confinement fusion ICF Obenschain et al., Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 378 2020 0031. The research efforts are focused on combined experimental and theoretical investigation of the current ArF technology on Electra e-beam facility. We report on modeling results from the Orestes suit of codes that includes 0D electron kinetics, 1D plasma chemistry, 1D lasing amplification, and 3D radiation transport. Laser yield, amplified spontaneous emission, small signal gain, and saturated laser intensity and their dependence on the e-beam power deposition in the range 0.5-2 MWcm3, gas pressure 0.8-1.4 atm, and gas composition 0.1-0.5 of F2 have been investigated. The optimum conditions for laser generation have been determined from simulations. Experimentally, laser yield as high as 200 J has been obtain on the Electra submitted to Phys. Plasmas. These studies pave the way for building high efficiency ArF laser for ICF.

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  • Lasers and Masers
  • Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics

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[A, Approved For Public Release]