G. A. Rochau

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

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Publications (121)270.81 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: MCP detector performance at hard x-ray energies from 6 to 25 keV was recently investigated using NSLS beamline X15A at BNL. Measurements were made with an NSTec Gen-II (H-CA-65) framing camera, based on a Photonis MCP with ̃10 μm in diameter pores, ̃12 μm center-center spacing, an L/D ratio of 46, and a bias angle of 8°. The MCP characterizations were focused on (1) energy and angle dependent sensitivity, (2) energy and angle dependent spatial resolution, (3) energy dependent gain performance, and (4) energy dependent dynamic range. These measurement corroborated simulation results using a Monte Carlo model that included hard x-ray interactions and the subsequent electron cascade in the MCP.
    Review of Scientific Instruments 10/2014; 85(11). · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sandia's Z Machine uses its high current to magnetically implode targets relevant to inertial confinement fusion. Since target performance is highly dependent on the applied drive field, measuring magnetic field at the target is essential for accurate simulations. Recently, the magnetic field at the target was measured through splitting of the sodium 3s-3p doublet at 5890 and 5896 Å. Spectroscopic dopants were applied to the exterior of the target, and spectral lines were observed in absorption. Magnetic fields in excess of 200 T were measured, corresponding to drive currents of approximately 5 MA early in the pulse.
    Review of Scientific Instruments 10/2014; 85(11). · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Our preliminary results from laboratory experiments studying white dwarf (WD) photospheres show a systematic difference between experimental plasma conditions inferred from measured H$\beta$ absorption line profiles versus those from H$\gamma$. One hypothesis for this discrepancy is an inaccuracy in the relative theoretical line profiles of these two transitions. This is intriguing because atmospheric parameters inferred from H Balmer lines in observed WD spectra show systematic trends such that inferred surface gravities decrease with increasing principal quantum number, $n$. If conditions inferred from lower-$n$ Balmer lines are indeed more accurate, this suggests that spectroscopically determined DA WD masses may be greater than previously thought and in better agreement with the mean mass determined from gravitational redshifts.
    10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Magnetizing the fuel in inertial confinement fusion relaxes ignition requirements by reducing thermal conductivity and changing the physics of burn product confinement. Diagnosing the level of fuel magnetization during burn is critical to understanding target performance in magneto-inertial fusion (MIF) implosions. In pure deuterium fusion plasma, 1.01 MeV tritons are emitted during deuterium-deuterium fusion and can undergo secondary deuterium-tritium reactions before exiting the fuel. Increasing the fuel magnetization elongates the path lengths through the fuel of some of the tritons, enhancing their probability of reaction. Based on this feature, a method to diagnose fuel magnetization using the ratio of overall deuterium-tritium to deuterium-deuterium neutron yields is developed. Analysis of anisotropies in the secondary neutron energy spectra further constrain the measurement. Secondary reactions also are shown to provide an upper bound for the volumetric fuel-pusher mix in MIF. The analysis is applied to recent MIF experiments [M. R. Gomez et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 155003 (2014)] on the Z Pulsed Power Facility, indicating that significant magnetic confinement of charged burn products was achieved and suggesting a relatively low-mix environment. Both of these are essential features of future ignition-scale MIF designs.
    Physical Review Letters 10/2014; 113(15):155004. · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This Letter presents results from the first fully integrated experiments testing the magnetized liner inertial fusion concept [S. A. Slutz et al., Phys. Plasmas 17, 056303 (2010).
    Physical Review Letters 10/2014; 113(15):155003. · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Experimental tests are in progress to evaluate the accuracy of the modeled iron opacity at solar interior conditions [J.E. Bailey et al., Phys. Plasmas 16, 058101 (2009)]. The iron sample is placed on top of the Sandia National Laboratories z-pinch dynamic hohlraum (ZPDH) radiation source. The samples are heated to 150 - 200 eV electron temperatures and 7e21 - 4e22 e/cc electron densities by the ZPDH radiation and backlit at its stagnation [T. Nagayama et al., Phys. Plasmas 21, 056502 (2014)]. The backlighter attenuated by the heated sample plasma is measured by four spectrometers along +/- 9 degree with respect to the z-pinch axis to infer the sample iron opacity. Here we describe measurements of the source-to-sample distance that exploit the parallax of spectrometers that view the half-moon-shaped sample from +/-9 degree. The measured sample temperature decreases with increased source-to-sample distance. This distance must be taken into account for understanding the sample heating.
    Review of Scientific Instruments 07/2014; 85:11D603. · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Experimental tests are in progress to evaluate the accuracy of the modeled iron opacity at solar interior conditions, in particular to better constrain the solar abundance problem [S. Basu and H. M. Antia, Phys. Rep. 457, 217 (2008)]. Here, we describe measurements addressing three of the key requirements for reliable opacity experiments: control of sample conditions, independent sample condition diagnostics, and verification of sample condition uniformity. The opacity samples consist of iron/magnesium layers tamped by plastic. By changing the plastic thicknesses, we have controlled the iron plasma conditions to reach (1) Te = 167 +/- 3 eV and ne =(7.1 +/- 1.5)e22 cm^3, (2) Te =170 +/- 2eV and ne =(2.0 +/- 0.2)e22 cm^3, and (3) Te =196 +/- 6eV and ne=(3.8 +/- 0.8)e22 cm^3, which were measured by magnesium tracer K-shell spectroscopy. The opacity sample non-uniformity was directly measured by a separate experiment where Al is mixed into the side of the sample facing the radiation source and Mg into the other side. The iron condition was confirmed to be uniform within their measurement uncertainties by Al and Mg K-shell spectroscopy. The conditions are suitable for testing opacity calculations needed for modeling the solar interior, other stars, and high energy density plasmas.
    Physics of Plasmas 05/2014; 21:056502. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Z Facility at Sandia National Laboratories [Matzen et al., Phys. Plasmas 12, 055503 (2005)] provides MJ-class x-ray sources that can emit powers >0.3 PW. This capability enables benchmark experiments of fundamental material properties in radiation-heated matter at conditions previously unattainable in the laboratory. Experiments on Z can produce uniform, long-lived, and large plasmas with volumes up to 20 cc, temperatures from 1–200 eV, and electron densities from 10 17–23 cc À1 . These unique characteristics and the ability to radiatively heat multiple experiments in a single shot have led to a new effort called the Z Astrophysical Plasma Properties (ZAPP) collaboration. The focus of the ZAPP collaboration is to reproduce the radiation and material characteristics of astrophysical plasmas as closely as possible in the laboratory and use detailed spectral measurements to strengthen models for atoms in plasmas. Specific issues under investigation include the LTE opacity of iron at stellar-interior conditions, photoionization around active galactic nuclei, the efficiency of resonant Auger destruction in black-hole accretion disks, and H-Balmer line shapes in white dwarf photospheres. V C 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.
    Physics of Plasmas 05/2014; 21:056308. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent experiments on the Z accelerator have produced high-energy (17 keV) inner-shell K-alpha emission from molybdenum wire array z-pinches. Extensive absolute power and spectroscopic diagnostics along with collisional-radiative modeling enable detailed investigation into the roles of thermal, hot electron, and fluorescence processes in the production of high-energy x-rays. We show that changing the dimensions of the arrays can impact the proportion of thermal and non-thermal K-shell x-rays.
    02/2014; 21(3).
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    ABSTRACT: The Z facility at the Sandia National Laboratories is the most energetic terrestrial source of X-rays and provides an opportunity to produce photoionized plasmas in a relatively well characterised radiation environment. We use detailed atomic-kinetic and spectral simulations to analyze the absorption spectra of a photoionized neon plasma driven by the x-ray flux from a z-pinch. The broadband x-ray flux both photoionizes and backlights the plasma. In particular, we focus on extracting the charge state distribution of the plasma and the characteristics of the radiation field driving the plasma in order to estimate the ionisation parameter.
    Physics of Plasmas 02/2014; 21(3). · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Advancements have been made in the diagnostic techniques to measure accurately the total radiated x-ray yield and power from z-pinch implosion experiments at the Z machine with high accuracy. The Z machine is capable of outputting 2 MJ and 330 TW of x-ray yield and power, and accurately measuring these quantities is imperative. We will describe work over the past several years which include the development of new diagnostics, improvements to existing diagnostics, and implementation of automated data analysis routines. A set of experiments on the Z machine were conducted in which the load and machine configuration were held constant. During this shot series, it was observed that the total z-pinch x-ray emission power determined from the two common techniques for inferring the x-ray power, a Kimfol filtered x-ray diode diagnostic and the total power and energy diagnostic, gave 449 TW and 323 TW, respectively. Our analysis shows the latter to be the more accurate interpretation. More broadly, the comparison demonstrates the necessity to consider spectral response and field of view when inferring x-ray powers from z-pinch sources.
    Review of Scientific Instruments 01/2014; 85(8):083501-083501-11. · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Novel experimental data are reported that reveal helical instability formation on imploding z-pinch liners that are premagnetized with an axial field. Such instabilities differ dramatically from the mostly azimuthally symmetric instabilities that form on unmagnetized liners. The helical structure persists at nearly constant pitch as the liner implodes. This is surprising since, at the liner surface, the azimuthal drive field presumably dwarfs the axial field for all but the earliest stages of the experiment. These fundamentally 3D results provide a unique and challenging test for 3D-magnetohydrodynamics simulations.
    Physical Review Letters 12/2013; 111(23):235005. · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multiple experimental campaigns have been executed to study the implosions of initially solid beryllium (Be) liners (tubes) on the Z pulsed-power accelerator. The implosions were driven by current pulses that rose from 0 to 20 MA in either 100 or 200 ns (200 ns for pulse shaping experiments). These studies were conducted in support of the recently proposed Magnetized Liner Inertial Fusion concept [Slutz et al., Phys. Plasmas 17, 056303 (2010)], as well as for exploring novel equation-of-state measurement techniques. The experiments used thick-walled liners that had an aspect ratio (initial outer radius divided by initial wall thickness) of either 3.2, 4, or 6. From these studies, we present three new primary results. First, we present radiographic images of imploding Be liners, where each liner contained a thin aluminum sleeve for enhancing the contrast and visibility of the liner's inner surface in the images. These images allow us to assess the stability of the liner's inner surface more accurately and more directly than was previously possible. Second, we present radiographic images taken early in the implosion (prior to any motion of the liner's inner surface) of a shockwave propagating radially inward through the liner wall. Radial mass density profiles from these shock compression experiments are contrasted with profiles from experiments where the Z accelerator's pulse shaping capabilities were used to achieve shockless (“quasi-isentropic”) liner compression. Third, we present “micro-” measurements of azimuthal magnetic field penetration into the initially vacuum-filled interior of a shocked liner. Our measurements and simulations reveal that the penetration commences shortly after the shockwave breaks out from the liner's inner surface. The field then accelerates this low-density “precursor” plasma to the axis of symmetry.
    Physics of Plasmas 05/2013; 20(5). · 2.38 Impact Factor
  • C.A. Kruschwitz, Ming Wu, G. Rochau
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    ABSTRACT: We present results of Monte Carlo simulations of microchannel plate (MCP) response to x-rays in the 250 eV to 20 keV energy range as a function of both x-ray energy and impact angle. The model is based on the model presented in Rochau et al. However, while the Rochau et al. model was two-dimensional, and their results only went to 5 keV, our results have been expanded to 20 keV, and our model has been incorporated into a three-dimensional Monte Carlo MCP model that we have developed over the past several years. X-ray penetration through multiple MCP pore walls is increasingly important above 5 keV. The effect of x-ray penetration through multiple pores on MCP performance was studied and is presented.
    Plasma Science (ICOPS), 2013 Abstracts IEEE International Conference on; 01/2013
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    ABSTRACT: We present an experimental platform for measuring hydrogen Balmer emission and absorption line profiles for plasmas with white dwarf (WD) photospheric conditions (T_e ~ 1 eV, n_e ~ 10^17 cm^-3). These profiles will be used to benchmark WD atmosphere models, which, used with the spectroscopic method, are responsible for determining fundamental parameters (e.g., effective temperature, mass) for tens of thousands of WDs. Our experiment, performed at the Z Pulsed Power Facility at Sandia National Laboratories, uses the large amount of x-rays generated from a z-pinch dynamic hohlraum to drive plasma formation in a gas cell. The platform is unique compared to past hydrogen line profile experiments in that the plasma is radiation-driven. This decouples the heating source from the plasma to be studied in the sense that the radiation temperature causing the photoionization is independent of the initial conditions of the gas. For the first time we measure hydrogen Balmer lines in absorption at these conditions in the laboratory for the purpose of benchmarking Stark-broadened line shapes. The platform can be used to study other plasma species and to explore non-LTE, time-dependent collisional-radiative atomic kinetics.
    High Energy Density Physics. 10/2012; 9(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Astrophysics experiments by Falcon et al. to create white dwarf photospheres in the laboratory are currently underway. The experimental platform measures Balmer line profiles of a radiation-driven, pure hydrogen plasma in emission and in absorption for conditions at T_e ~ 1 eV, n_e ~ 10^17 cm^-3. These will be used to compare and test line broadening theories used in white dwarf atmosphere models. The flexibility of the platform allows us to expand the direction of our experiments using other compositions. We discuss future prospects such as exploring helium plasmas and carbon/oxygen plasmas relevant to the photospheres of DBs and hot DQs, respectively.
    10/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: The pinned optically aligned diagnostic dock (PODD) is a multi-configuration diagnostic platform designed to measure x-ray emission on the Z facility. The PODD houses two plasma emission acquisition (PEA) systems, which are aligned with a set of precision machined pins. The PEA systems are modular, allowing a single diagnostic housing to support several different diagnostics. The PEA configurations fielded to date include both time-resolved and time-integrated, 1D spatially resolving, elliptical crystal spectrometers, and time-integrated, 1D spatially resolving, convex crystal spectrometers. Additional proposed configurations include time-resolved, monochromatic mirrored pinhole imagers and arrays of filtered x-ray diodes, diamond photo-conducting diode detectors, and bolometers. The versatility of the PODD system will allow the diagnostic configuration of the Z facility to be changed without significantly adding to the turn-around time of the machine. Additionally, the PODD has been designed to allow instrument setup to be completed entirely off-line, leaving only a refined alignment process to be performed just prior to a shot, which is a significant improvement over the instrument the PODD replaces. Example data collected with the PODD are presented.
    The Review of scientific instruments 10/2012; 83(10):10D714. · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Experiments have been performed at Sandia National Laboratories Z-facility to validate iron opacity models relevant to the solar convection/radiation zone boundary. Sample conditions were measured by mixing Mg with the Fe and using Mg K-shell line transmission spectra, assuming that the plasma was uniform. We develop a spectral model that accounts for hypothetical gradients, and compute synthetic spectra to quantitatively evaluate the plasma gradient size that can be diagnosed. Two sample designs are investigated, assuming linear temperature and density gradients. First, Mg uniformly mixed with Fe enables temperature gradients greater than 10% to be detected. The second design uses Mg mixed into one side and Al mixed into the other side of the sample in an attempt to more accurately infer the sample gradient. Both temperature and density gradients as small as a few percent can be detected with this design. Experiments have successfully recorded spectra with the second design. In future research, the spectral model will be used to place bounds on gradients that exist in Z opacity experiments.
    The Review of scientific instruments 10/2012; 83(10):10E128. · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Curved crystals are used as diffraction elements for X-ray spectrometers in diagnosing laser plasma sources at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and on the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories. Reflectivity curves for various curved crystals used at these facilities have been measured in National Security Technologies' (NSTec) X-ray laboratory. The X-ray source is a diode arrangement with a dual goniometer system that orients a monochromator and the sample crystal to the appropriate Bragg angles. The reflectivity curve is then measured at energies that ranged from 0.7 to 15.8 keV. This presentation covers reflectivity curve measurements on circular cylindrical KAP crystals and elliptical cylindrical PET crystals. The integrated reflectivity, the curve width, and the peak reflectivity were determined. The integrated reflectivity and the width of curved crystals were much larger than the values for the corresponding flat crystal, increasing as the radius of curvature decreases for a given photon energy. For a fixed radius of curvature, they increase as the photon energy increases.
    10/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: High quality absorption spectroscopy measurements were recently achieved at the Sandia National Laboratories Z facility in the soft x-ray range. Detailed spectral resolution knowledge is a key requirement for their interpretation. We present a methodology for measuring the wavelength dependent crystal spectral resolution, with a particular focus on the 7-17 Å range. We apply this procedure to the case of 1st order resolution of a potassium acid phthalate (KAP) convex crystal spectrometer. One calibration issue is that inferring the crystal resolution requires that the x-ray source emission feature widths and spectral profiles are known. To this aim, we resolve Manson x-ray source Si, Al, and Mg Kα line profiles using a KAP crystal spectrometer in 2nd order to achieve relatively high resolution. This information is exploited to measure 1st order KAP resolving powers λ∕Δλ∼1100-1300 in the 7-10 Å wavelength range.
    The Review of scientific instruments 10/2012; 83(10):10E133. · 1.52 Impact Factor