Electrothermal instability mitigation by using thick dielectric coatings on magnetically imploded conductors

Phys Rev Lett. 2014 Apr 4;112(13):135002. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.135002. Epub 2014 Apr 2.


Recent experiments on Sandia's Z facility have confirmed simulation predictions of dramatically reduced instability growth in solid metallic rods when thick dielectric coatings are used to mitigate density perturbations arising from an electrothermal instability. These results provide further evidence that the inherent surface roughness as a result of target fabrication is not the dominant seed for the growth of magneto-Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities in liners with carefully machined smooth surfaces, but rather electrothermal instabilities that form early in the electrical current pulse as Joule heating melts and vaporizes the liner surface. These results suggest a new technique for substantially reducing the integral magneto-Rayleigh-Taylor instability growth in magnetically driven implosions, such as cylindrical dynamic material experiments and inertial confinement fusion concepts.