Patrick Rambo

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

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Publications (98)178.84 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Advanced z-pinch accelerators require precise timing of multiple mega-ampere drivers to deliver terawatt power. The triggering of these drivers is now largely initiated by laser ionization of gas switches. In this paper, we discuss detailed fully kinetic simulation of the Z laser-triggered gas switch involving detailed finite-difference time-domain particle-in-cell Monte Carlo modeling of the trigger section of the switch. Other components of the accelerator from the Marx bank through the pulse-forming line are described as circuit elements. The simulations presented here build on a recently developed model of electro-negative gas breakdown and streamer propagation that included photons produced from de-excited neutrals. New effects include multi-photon ionization of the gas in a prescribed laser field. The simulations show the sensitivity of triggering to laser parameters including focal plane within the anode-cathode gap of the trigger section of the switch, intensity at focus, and laser pulse length. Detailed electromagnetic simulations of the trigger section with circuit modeling of the upstream and downstream components are largely in agreement with Z data and demonstrate a new capability.
    Physics of Plasmas 06/2013; · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the results of 2D and 3D fully-kinetic electromagnetic particle-in-cell Monte Carlo (PICMC) simulations of triggered three-electrode gas switches using dry air as a gas (at pressures greater than 1 atm). In such switches the AK gap voltage is set slightly below the breakdown threshold. A voltage pulse applied to a trigger needle placed in the AK gap allows breakdown to occur between, initially, the trigger and anode, followed by the trigger and cathode. We demonstrate that a fully-kinetic PICMC approach can be used to follow the entire evolution of the switch, from the initial avalanche and streamer formation up to the fully conducting phase. We utilize an 18-species air chemistry model which is shown to agree with swarm parameters (breakdown threshold, drift velocity) obtained by experiment. Photon transport and photo-ionization are also included to permit the modeling of cathode directed streamers. This computational model will be used to help design closing switches for pulsed-power systems.
    Pulsed Power Conference (PPC), 2013 19th IEEE; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: form only given. We present the results of 2D and 3D Fully kinetic electromagnetic particle-in-cell Monte-Carlo (PICMC) simulations of triggered three-electrode gas switches using dry air as a gas (at pressures greater than 1 AT M). In such switches the AK gap voltage is set slightly below the breakdown threshold. A voltage pulse applied to a trigger needle placed in the AK gap allows breakdown to occur between, first, the trigger and anode, followed by the trigger and cathode. We demonstrate that a fully kinetic PICMC approach can be used to follow the entire evolution of the switch, from the initial avalanche and streamer formation up to the fully conducting phase. We utilize an 18-species air chemistry model which is shown to agree with swarm parameters (breakdown threshold, drift velocity) obtained by experiment. Photon transport and photoionization are also included to permit the modeling of cathode directed streamers. This computational model will be used to help design closing switches for pulsed-power systems.
    Plasma Science (ICOPS), 2013 Abstracts IEEE International Conference on; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: We report on experiments with the Z-Petawatt laser at Sandia National Labs using mm-sized foils and mass-limited targets of various thicknesses. Rear side accelerated proton beam measurements, in combination with simulation results, were used to infer hot electron transport in presence of preplasma. Full-scale, 3D radiation-hydrodynamics simulations of the ns to ps prepulse were performed. Preplasma properties (density profiles, temperatures, charge states) where then imported into a fully explicit and kinetic 2D particle-in-cell code to simulate, 10 ps of the main laser pulse interaction with the preplasma and target at full scale. A comparison of experimental data and numerical data shows outstanding agreement in all measured proton beam parameters, which gives confidence in the simulation results of hot electron transport. Sandia National Labs is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp., for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.
    10/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Since October 2007 Sandia National Laboratories has operated the refurbished Z machine at an improved load current of 26 MA yielding 400 TW of x-ray power. The current pulse shape to the load is controlled by 36 independently timed laser triggered gas switches. As part of the refurbishment effort, a fiber coupled laser spark detector system has been installed which is able to detect the laser generated plasma in situ inside the trigger section of the high voltage switch. In this paper we describe how this detection system can be used to characterize the discharge dynamics of these 5.9 MV, 820 kA switches.
    Review of Modern Physics 07/2012; · 44.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A wavefront sensor has been used to measure the Kerr nonlinear focal shift of a high intensity ultrashort pulse beam in a focusing beam geometry while accounting for the effects of plasma-defocusing. It is shown that plasma-defocusing plays a major role in the nonlinear focusing dynamics and that measurements of Kerr nonlinearity and ionization are coupled. Furthermore, this coupled effect leads to a novel way that measures the laser ionization rates in air under atmospheric conditions as well as Kerr nonlinearity. The measured nonlinear index n₂ compares well with values found in the literature and the measured ionization rates could be successfully benchmarked to the model developed by Perelomov, Popov, and Terentev (PPT model) [Sov. Phys. JETP 50, 1393 (1966)].
    Optics Express 04/2012; 20(8):8791-803. · 3.55 Impact Factor
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    Lasers - Applications in Science and Industry, 12/2011; , ISBN: 978-953-307-755-0
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    ABSTRACT: Experiments investigating fracture and resistance to plastic deformation at fast strain rates (>106 s−1) were performed via laser ablation on thin sheets of aluminum and aluminum alloys. Single crystal high purity aluminum (Al-HP) and a single crystal 1100 series aluminum alloy (AA1100) were prepared to investigate the role of impurity particles. Specimens of aluminum alloy +3 wt. % Mg (Al+3Mg) at three different grain sizes were also studied to determine the effect of grain size. In the present experiments, high purity aluminum (Al-HP) exhibited the highest spall strength over 1100 series aluminum alloy (AA1100) and Al+3Mg. Fracture characterization and particle analysis revealed that fracture was initiated in the presence of particles associated with impurity content in the AA1100 and at both grain boundaries and particles in Al+3Mg. The Al+3Mg specimens exhibited the greatest resistance to plastic deformation likely resulting from the presence of magnesium atoms. The Al-HP and AA1100, both lacking a strengthening element such as Mg, were found to have the same Hugoniot elastic limit (HEL) stress. Within the single crystal specimens, orientation effects on spall strength and HEL stress appear to be negligible. Although the fracture character shows a trend with grain size, no clear dependence of spall strength and HEL stress on grain size was measured for the Al+3Mg. Hydrodynamic simulations show how various strength and fracture models are insufficient to predict material behavior at fast strain rates, and a revised set of Tuler-Butcher coefficients for spall are proposed.
    Journal of Applied Physics 11/2011; 110(10). · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many high energy/high power lasers such as Z-Petawatt at Sandia National Laboratories utilize extremely heavy and sensitive optical assemblies for final focusing. Redirecting the beams is very difficult if not impossible, and setups also often require long focal lengths, which may compromise the pointing stability. We suggest that the application of plasma mirrors can be very useful for HEDP experiments with such systems, regardless of the contrast enhancing feature (e.g. using a high reflector as plasma mirror substrate). Applications of plasma mirrors can be deflection of the beam close to the target for more convenient experimental geometries or debris mitigation for the last large sized optics. In case of the more advanced concept of ellipsoidal geometries, plasma mirrors can even be used for f# translation, leading to focus intensity enhancement and improved pointing stability (if f# is reduced). This presentation will explain applications along with laser requirements and performance challenges. -- *Sandia National Labs is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp., for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.
    11/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: Streamer and leader formation in high pressure devices is dynamic process involving a broad range of physical phenomena. These include elastic and inelastic particle collisions in the gas, radiation generation, transport and absorption, and electrode interactions. Accurate modeling of these physical processes is essential for a number of applications, including high-current, laser-triggered gas switches. Towards this end, we present a new 3D implicit particle-in-cell simulation model of gas breakdown leading to streamer formation in electronegative gases. The model uses a Monte Carlo treatment for all particle interactions and includes discrete photon generation, transport, and absorption for ultra-violet and soft x-ray radiation. Central to the realization of this fully kinetic particle treatment is an algorithm that manages the total particle count by species while preserving the local momentum distribution functions and conserving charge [D. R. Welch, T. C. Genoni, R. E. Clark, and D. V. Rose, J. Comput. Phys. 227, 143 (2007)]. The simulation model is fully electromagnetic, making it capable of following, for example, the evolution of a gas switch from the point of laser-induced localized breakdown of the gas between electrodes through the successive stages of streamer propagation, initial electrode current connection, and high-current conduction channel evolution, where self-magnetic field effects are likely to be important. We describe the model details and underlying assumptions used and present sample results from 3D simulations of streamer formation and propagation in SF6.
    Physics of Plasmas 09/2011; 18(9):093501-093501-10. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We discuss upgrades currently underway at Sandia National Labs Z-Backlighter facility. Among them: A new OPCPA front end, 94 cm × 42 cm MLD gratings, laser beam combination studies, advanced debris mitigation techniques, and a major target area expansion.
    08/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: Experiments dedicated to the characterization of plasma mirrors with a high energy, single shot short-pulse laser were performed at the 100 TW target area of the Z-Backlighter Facility at Sandia National Laboratories. A suite of beam diagnostics was used to characterize a high energy laser pulse with a large aperture through focus imaging setup. By varying the fluence on the plasma mirror around the plasma ignition threshold, critical performance parameters were determined and a more detailed understanding of the way in which a plasma mirror works could be deduced. It was found, that very subtle variations in the laser near field profile will have strong effects on the reflected pulse if the maximum fluence on the plasma mirror approaches the plasma ignition threshold.
    The Review of scientific instruments 05/2011; 82(5):053101. · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We discuss upgrades and development currently underway at the Z-Backlighter facility. Among them are a new optical parametric chirped pulse amplier (OPCPA) front end, 94 cm 42 cm multi layer dielectric (MLD) gratings, dichroic laser beam transport studies, 25 keV x-ray source development, and a major target area expansion. These upgrades will pave the way for short/long pulse, multi-frame, multi-color x-ray backlighting at the Z-Accelerator.
    Proc SPIE 05/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: We compare designs and laser-induced damage thresholds (LIDTs) of hafnia/silica antireflection (AR) coatings for 1054 nm or dual 527 nm/1054 nm wavelengths and 0° to 45° angles of incidence (AOIs). For a 527 nm/1054 nm, 0° AOI AR coating, LIDTs from three runs arbitrarily selected over three years are ∼20 J/cm2 or higher at 1054 nm and <10 J/cm2 at 527 nm. Calculated optical electric field intensities within the coating show two intensity peaks for 527 nm but not for 1054 nm, correlating with the lower (higher) LIDTs at 527 nm (1054 nm). For 1054 nm AR coatings at 45° and 32° AOIs and S and P polarizations (Spol and Ppol), LIDTs are high for Spol (>35 J/cm2) but not as high for Ppol (>30 J/cm2 at 32° AOI; ∼15 J/cm2 at 45° AOI). Field intensities show that Ppol discontinuities at media interfaces correlate with the lower Ppol LIDTs at these AOIs. For Side 1 and Side 2 dual 527 nm/1054 nm AR coatings of a diagnostic beam splitter at 22.5° AOI, Spol and Ppol LIDTs (>10 J/cm2 at 527 nm; >35 J/cm2 at 1054 nm) are consistent with Spol and Ppol intensity behaviors.
    Applied Optics 03/2011; 50(9):C340-8. · 1.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Laser-accelerated proton beams can be used in a variety of applications, e.g. ultrafast radiography of dense objects or strong electromagnetic fields. Therefore high energies of tens of MeV are required. We report on proton-acceleration experiments with a 150 TW laser system using mm-sized thin foils and mass-reduced targets of various thicknesses. Thin- foil targets yielded maximum energies of 50 MeV. A further reduction of the target dimensions from mm-size to 250 x250x25 microns increased the maximum proton energy to >65 MeV, which is comparable to proton energies measured only at higher-energy, Petawatt-class laser systems. The dependence of the maximum energy on target dimensions was investigated, and differences between mm-sized thin foils and mass-reduced targets will be reported.
    11/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: To extend the backlighting capabilities for Sandia's Z- Accelerator, Z-Petawatt, a laser which can provide laser pulses of 500 fs length and up to 120 J (100TW target area) or up to 450 J (Z / Petawatt target area) has been built over the last years. The main mission of this facility focuses on the generation of high energy X-rays, such as tin Kalpha at 25 keV in ultra-short bursts. Achieving 25 keV radiographs with decent resolution and contrast required addressing multiple problems such as blocking of hot electrons, minimization of the source, development of suitable filters, and optimization of laser intensity. Due to the violent environment inside of Z, an additional very challenging task is finding massive debris and radiation protection measures without losing the functionality of the backlighting system. We will present the first experiments on 25 keV backlighting including an analysis of image quality and X-ray efficiency.
    11/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: Sandia's Large Optics Coating Operation has extensive results of laser induced damage threshold (LIDT) testing of its anti-reflection (AR) and high reflection coatings on substrates pitch polished using ceria and washed in a process that includes an alumina wash step. The purpose of the alumina wash step is to remove residual polishing compound to minimize its role in laser damage. These LIDT tests are for multi longitudinal mode, ns class pulses at 1064 nm and 532 nm (NIF-MEL protocol) and mode locked, sub-ps class pulses at 1054 nm (Sandia measurements), and show reasonably high and adequate laser damage resistance for coatings in the beam trains of Sandia's Z-Backlighter terawatt and petawatt lasers. An AR coating in addition to coatings of our previous reports confirms this with LIDTs of 33.0 J/cm2 for 3.5 ns pulses and 1.8 J/cm2 for 350 fs pulses. In this paper, we investigate both ceria and zirconia in doublesided polishing (common for large flat Z-Backlighter laser optics) as they affect LIDTs of an AR coating on fused silica substrates washed with or without the alumina wash step. For these AR coated, double-sided polished surfaces, ceria polishing in general affords better resistance to laser damage than zirconia polishing and laser damage is less likely with the alumina wash step than without it. This is supported by specific results of laser damage tests with 3.5 ns, multi longitudinal mode, single shot pulses at 1064 nm and 532 nm, with 7.0 ns, single and multi longitudinal mode, single and multi shot pulses at 532 nm, and with 350 fs, mode-locked, single shot pulses at 1054 nm.
    Proc SPIE 10/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: As high energy laser systems evolve towards higher energies, fundamental material properties such as the laserinduced damage threshold (LIDT) of the optics limit the overall system performance. The Z-Backlighter Laser Facility at Sandia National Laboratories uses a pair of such kiljoule-class Nd:Phosphate Glass lasers for x-ray radiography of high energy density physics events on the Z-Accelerator. These two systems, the Z-Beamlet system operating at 527nm/ 1ns and the Z-Petawatt system operating at 1054nm/ 0.5ps, can be combined for some experimental applications. In these scenarios, dichroic beam combining optics and subsequent dual wavelength high reflectors will see a high fluence from combined simultaneous laser exposure and may even see lingering effects when used for pump-probe configurations. Only recently have researchers begun to explore such concerns, looking at individual and simultaneous exposures of optics to 1064 and third harmonic 355nm light from Nd:YAG [1]. However, to our knowledge, measurements of simultaneous and delayed dual wavelength damage thresholds on such optics have not been performed for exposure to 1054nm and its second harmonic light, especially when the pulses are of disparate pulse duration. The Z-Backlighter Facility has an instrumented damage tester setup to examine the issues of laser-induced damage thresholds in a variety of such situations [2] . Using this damage tester, we have measured the LIDT of dual wavelength high reflectors at 1054nm/0.5ps and 532nm/7ns, separately and spatially combined, both co-temporal and delayed, with single and multiple exposures. We found that the LIDT of the sample at 1054nm/0.5ps can be significantly lowered, from 1.32J/cm2 damage fluence with 1054/0.5ps only to 1.05 J/cm2 with the simultaneous presence of 532nm/7ns laser light at a fluence of 8.1 J/cm2. This reduction of LIDT of the sample at 1054nm/0.5ps continues as the fluence of 532nm/7ns laser light simultaneously present increases. The reduction of LIDT does not occur when the 2 pulses are temporally separated. This paper will also present dual wavelength LIDT results of commercial dichroic beam-combining optics simultaneously exposed with laser light at 1054nm/2.5ns and 532nm/7ns.
    Proc SPIE 10/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: We report reflectivity, design and laser damage comparisons of our AR coatings for use at 1054 nm and/or 527 nm, and at angles of incidence between 0 and 45 degrees.
    02/2010
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    ABSTRACT: Hafnium dioxide films have been produced by plasma ion assisted electron beam evaporation, utilizing argon or xenon as working gases. The optical constants of the layers have been investigated by spectrophotometry, while X-ray reflection measurements (XRR), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) have been performed with selected samples. The correlation between structural and optical properties is discussed. With respect to optical quality, the application of xenon as working gas results in coatings with higher refractive index and smaller surface roughness than the application of argon. This effect is attributed to a more efficient momentum transfer from high energetic working gas ions or atoms to hafnium atoms during deposition. OCIS codes: (160.4670) Optical materials; (310.3840) Materials and process characterization; (310.6860) Thin films, optical properties; (310.6870) Thin films, other properties; (310.1860) Deposition and fabrication., ―Synthesis and characterization of HfO2 and ZrO2 thin films deposited by plasma assisted reactive pulsed laser deposition at low temperature,‖ Thin Solid Films comparative study of the UV optical and structural properties of SiO2, Al2O3, and HfO2 single layers deposited by reactive evaporation, ion-assisted deposition and plasma ion-assisted deposition,‖ Thin Solid Films 410(1-2, ―The correlation between mechanical stress, thermal shift and refractive index in HfO2, Nb2O5, Ta2O5 and SiO2 layers and its relation to the layer porosity,‖ Thin Solid Films, ―Comparisons between laser damage and optical electric field behaviors for hafnia/silica antireflection coatings, N. Croitoru, ―Study of HfO2 films prepared by ion-assisted deposition using a gridless end-hall ion source,‖ Thin Solid Films 350(1-2), 203–208 (1999). 26. J. D. Targove and H. A. Macleod, ―Verification of momentum transfer as the dominant densifying mechanism in ion-assisted deposition,‖ Appl. Opt. 27(18), 3779–3781 (1988). 27. O. Stenzel, S. Wilbrandt, K. Friedrich, and N. Kaiser, ―Realistische Modellierung der NIR/VIS/UV-optischen Konstanten dünner optischer Schichten im Rahmen des Oszillatormodells, rule and the influence of doping on the optical dielectric constant of semiconductors— I,‖ Infrared Phys. 28(5), 327–332 (1988). 32. O. Stenzel, ―A model for calculating the effect of nanosized pores on refractive index, thermal shift and mechanical stress in optical coatings,‖ J. Phys. D 42(5), 055312 (2009).
    Coat. Tech. Sol. Energy Mater. Sol. Cells Appl. Opt. Appl. Opt.‖ J. Vac. Sci. Technol. Appl. Surf. Sci. / OPTICAL MATERIALS EXPRESS‖ Appl. Opt. Forsch. Praxis J. Appl. Phys.‖ Thin Solid Films‖ Thin Solid Films‖ Appl. Opt.‖ Appl. Opt.‖ Appl. Opt. Z. Jinlong‖ Appl. Opt. A. V. Tikhonravov,‖ Appl. Opt. Appl. Opt. Praxis‖ Phys. Rev. B. 01/2010; 518(20):5442-5446.

Publication Stats

567 Citations
178.84 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003–2013
    • Sandia National Laboratories
      • • Advanced Materials Laboratory
      • • Z Backlighter Laser Facility
      Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
  • 2010
    • Universität Ulm
      Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2006
    • University of Texas at Austin
      • Department of Physics
      Texas City, TX, United States
  • 2001
    • University of New Mexico
      • Department of Physics & Astronomy
      Albuquerque, NM, United States