skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on September 1, 2023

Title: Characterization of sub-picosecond laser-produced fast electrons by modeling angularly resolved bremsstrahlung measurements with 3D hybrid particle-in-cell code
Hard x-rays produced by intense laser-produced fast electrons interacting with solids are a vital source for producing radiographs of high-density objects and implosion cores for inertial confinement fusion. Accurate calculation of hard x-ray sources requires a three-dimensional (3D) simulation geometry that fully models the electron transport dynamics, including electron recirculation and the generation of absolute photon yields. To date, 3D simulations of laser-produced bremsstrahlung photons over tens of picoseconds and code benchmarking have not been performed definitively. In this study, we characterize sub-picosecond laser-produced fast electrons by modeling angularly resolved bremsstrahlung measurements for refluxing and non-refluxing targets using the 3D hybrid particle-in-cell (PIC), Large Scale Plasma code. Bremsstrahlung radiation and escaped electron data were obtained by focusing a 50-TW Leopard laser (15 J, 0.35 ps, 2 × 10 19 W/cm 2 ) on a 100- μm-thick Cu foil and a Cu with a large plastic backing (Cu–CH target). Data for both the Cu and Cu–CH targets were reproduced for simulations with a given set of electron parameters. Comparison of the simulations revealed that the hard x-ray emission from the Cu target was significantly longer in duration than that from the Cu–CH target. The benchmarked hybrid PIC code could prove to be a powerful more » tool in the design and optimization of time- and angular-dependent bremsstrahlung sources for flash x-ray and gamma-ray radiography. « less
Authors:
;
Award ID(s):
1707357
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10356457
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Volume:
29
Issue:
9
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
093104
ISSN:
1070-664X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Inertial confinement fusion approaches involve the creation of high-energy-density states through compression. High gain scenarios may be enabled by the beneficial heating from fast electrons produced with an intense laser and by energy containment with a high-strength magnetic field. Here, we report experimental measurements from a configuration integrating a magnetized, imploded cylindrical plasma and intense laser-driven electrons as well as multi-stage simulations that show fast electrons transport pathways at different times during the implosion and quantify their energy deposition contribution. The experiment consisted of a CH foam cylinder, inside an external coaxial magnetic field of 5 T, that was imploded using 36 OMEGA laser beams. Two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamic modelling predicts the CH density reaches 9.0   g cm − 3 , the temperature reaches 920 eV and the external B-field is amplified at maximum compression to 580 T. At pre-determined times during the compression, the intense OMEGA EP laser irradiated one end of the cylinder to accelerate relativistic electrons into the dense imploded plasma providing additional heating. The relativistic electron beam generation was simulated using a 2D particle-in-cell (PIC) code. Finally, three-dimensional hybrid-PIC simulations calculated the electron propagation and energy deposition inside the target and revealed the roles the compressed and self-generated B-fieldsmore »play in transport. During a time window before the maximum compression time, the self-generated B-field on the compression front confines the injected electrons inside the target, increasing the temperature through Joule heating. For a stronger B-field seed of 20 T, the electrons are predicted to be guided into the compressed target and provide additional collisional heating. This article is part of a discussion meeting issue ‘Prospects for high gain inertial fusion energy (part 2)’.« less
  2. Abstract

    Flare-associated quasiperiodic pulsations (QPPs) in radio and X-ray wavelengths, particularly those related to nonthermal electrons, contain important information about the energy release and transport processes during flares. However, the paucity of spatially resolved observations of such QPPs with a fast time cadence has been an obstacle for us to further understand their physical nature. Here, we report observations of such a QPP event that occurred during the impulsive phase of a C1.8-class eruptive solar flare using radio imaging spectroscopy data from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and complementary X-ray imaging and spectroscopy data. The radio QPPs, observed by the VLA in the 1–2 GHz with a subsecond cadence, are shown as three spatially distinct sources with different physical characteristics. Two radio sources are located near the conjugate footpoints of the erupting magnetic flux rope with opposite senses of polarization. One of the sources displays a QPP behavior with a ∼5 s period. The third radio source, located at the top of the postflare arcade, coincides with the location of an X-ray source and shares a similar period of ∼25–45 s. We show that the two oppositely polarized radio sources are likely due to coherent electron cyclotronmore »maser emission. On the other hand, the looptop QPP source, observed in both radio and X-rays, is consistent with incoherent gyrosynchrotron and bremsstrahlung emission, respectively. We conclude that the concurrent, but spatially distinct QPP sources must involve multiple mechanisms which operate in different magnetic loop systems and at different periods.

    « less
  3. Abstract In this paper we provide a first physical interpretation for the Event Horizon Telescope's (EHT) 2017 observations of Sgr A*. Our main approach is to compare resolved EHT data at 230 GHz and unresolved non-EHT observations from radio to X-ray wavelengths to predictions from a library of models based on time-dependent general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics simulations, including aligned, tilted, and stellar-wind-fed simulations; radiative transfer is performed assuming both thermal and nonthermal electron distribution functions. We test the models against 11 constraints drawn from EHT 230 GHz data and observations at 86 GHz, 2.2 μ m, and in the X-ray. All models fail at least one constraint. Light-curve variability provides a particularly severe constraint, failing nearly all strongly magnetized (magnetically arrested disk (MAD)) models and a large fraction of weakly magnetized models. A number of models fail only the variability constraints. We identify a promising cluster of these models, which are MAD and have inclination i ≤ 30°. They have accretion rate (5.2–9.5) × 10 −9 M ⊙ yr −1 , bolometric luminosity (6.8–9.2) × 10 35 erg s −1 , and outflow power (1.3–4.8) × 10 38 erg s −1 . We also find that all models with i ≥more »70° fail at least two constraints, as do all models with equal ion and electron temperature; exploratory, nonthermal model sets tend to have higher 2.2 μ m flux density; and the population of cold electrons is limited by X-ray constraints due to the risk of bremsstrahlung overproduction. Finally, we discuss physical and numerical limitations of the models, highlighting the possible importance of kinetic effects and duration of the simulations.« less
  4. The development of cost-effective, high-performance electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is urgently needed. In the present study, a new type of HER catalyst was developed where ruthenium ions were embedded into the molecular skeletons of graphitic carbon nitride (C 3 N 4 ) nanosheets of 2.0 ± 0.4 nm in thickness by refluxing C 3 N 4 and RuCl 3 in water. This took advantage of the strong affinity of ruthenium ions to pyridinic nitrogen of the tri- s -triazine units of C 3 N 4 . The formation of C 3 N 4 –Ru nanocomposites was confirmed by optical and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic measurements, which suggested charge transfer from the C 3 N 4 scaffold to the ruthenium centers. Significantly, the hybrid materials were readily dispersible in water and exhibited apparent electrocatalytic activity towards HER in acid and their activity increased with the loading of ruthenium metal centers in the C 3 N 4 matrix. Within the present experimental context, the sample saturated with ruthenium ion complexation at a ruthenium to pyridinic nitrogen atomic ratio of ca. 1 : 2 displayed the best performance, with an overpotential of only 140 mV to achieve the current density of 10 mA cmmore »−2 , a low Tafel slope of 57 mV dec −1 , and a large exchange current density of 0.072 mA cm −2 . The activity was markedly lower when C 3 N 4 was embedded with other metal ions such as Fe 3+ , Co 3+ , Ni 3+ and Cu 2+ . This suggests minimal contributions from the C 3 N 4 nanosheets to the HER activity, and the activity was most likely due to the formation of Ru–N moieties where the synergistic interactions between the carbon nitride and ruthenium metal centers facilitated the adsorption of hydrogen. This was strongly supported by results from density functional theory calculations.« less
  5. ABSTRACT Sgr A* exhibits regular variability in its multiwavelength emission, including daily X-ray flares and roughly continuous near-infrared (NIR) flickering. The origin of this variability is still ambiguous since both inverse Compton and synchrotron emission are possible radiative mechanisms. The underlying particle distributions are also not well constrained, particularly the non-thermal contribution. In this work, we employ the GPU-accelerated general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics code H-AMR to perform a study of flare flux distributions, including the effect of particle acceleration for the first time in high-resolution 3D simulations of Sgr A*. For the particle acceleration, we use the general relativistic ray-tracing code bhoss to perform the radiative transfer, assuming a hybrid thermal+non-thermal electron energy distribution. We extract ∼60 h light curves in the sub-millimetre, NIR and X-ray wavebands, and compare the power spectra and the cumulative flux distributions of the light curves to statistical descriptions for Sgr A* flares. Our results indicate that non-thermal populations of electrons arising from turbulence-driven reconnection in weakly magnetized accretion flows lead to moderate NIR and X-ray flares and reasonably describe the X-ray flux distribution while fulfilling multiwavelength flux constraints. These models exhibit high rms per cent amplitudes, $\gtrsim 150{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ both in the NIR and the X-rays, with changes inmore »the accretion rate driving the 230 GHz flux variability, in agreement with Sgr A* observations.« less