Document Type


Publication Date


Published In

Physics Of Plasmas


Present-day Z-pinch experiments generate 200 TW peak power, 5–10 ns duration x-ray bursts that provide new possibilities to advance radiation science. The experiments support both the underlying atomic and plasma physics, as well as inertial confinement fusion and astrophysics applications. A typical configuration consists of a sample located 1–10 cm away from the pinch, where it is heated to 10–100 eV temperatures by the pinch radiation. The spectrally-resolved sample-plasma absorption is measured by aiming x-ray spectrographs through the sample at the pinch. The pinch plasma thus both heats the sample and serves as a backlighter. Opacitymeasurements with this source are promising because of the large sample size, the relatively long radiation duration, and the possibility to measureopacities at temperatures above 100 eV. Initial opacity experiments are under way with CH-tamped NaBr foil samples. The Na serves as a thermometer and absorption spectra are recorded to determine the opacity of Br with a partially-filled M-shell. The large sample size and brightness of the Z pinch as a backlighter are also exploited in a novel method measuring re-emission from radiation-heated gold plasmas. The method uses a CH-tamped layered foil with Al+MgF2 facing the radiationsource. A gold backing layer that covers a portion of the foil absorbs radiation from the source and provides re-emission that further heats the Al+MgF2. The Al and Mg heating is measured using space-resolved Kα absorption spectroscopy and the difference between the two regions enables a determination of the gold re-emission. Measurements are also performed at lower densities where photoionization is expected to dominate over collisions. Absorption spectra have been obtained for both Ne-like Fe and He-like Ne, confirming production of the relevant charge states needed to benchmark atomic kinetics models. Refinement of the methods described here is in progress to address multiple issues for radiation science.


43rd Annual Meeting Of The Division Of Plasma Physics Of The American Physical Society

Conference Dates

October 29 - November 2, 2001

Conference Location

Long Beach, CA


This work is freely available courtesy of the American Physical Society, Division of Plasma Physics and the American Institute of Physics.