Helium as a Surrogate for Deuterium in LPI Studies
Helium or neopentane can be used as surrogate gas fill for deuterium (D2) or deuterium-tritium (DT) in laser-plasma interaction studies. Surrogates are convenient to avoid flammability hazards or the integration of cryogenics in an experiment. To test the degree of equivalency between deuterium and helium, experiments were conducted in the Pecos target chamber at Sandia National Laboratories. Observables such as laser propagation and signatures of laser-plasma instabilities (LPI) were recorded for multiple laser and target configurations. It was found that some observables can differ significantly despite the apparent similarity of the gases with respect to molecular charge and weight. While a qualitative behaviour of the interaction may very well be studied by finding a suitable compromise of laser absorption, electron density, and LPI cross sections, a quantitative investigation of expected values for deuterium fills at high laser intensities is not likely to succeed with surrogate gases.
Matthias Geissel, Adam J. Harvey-Thompson, Matthew R. Weis, Jeffrey R. Fein, David Ampleford, David E. Bliss, Aaron M. Hansen, Christopher Jennings, Mark W. Kimmel, Patrick Rambo, Jonathon E. Shores, Ian C. Smith, C. Shane Speas, John L. Porter, Fabrizio Consoli. Helium as a Surrogate for Deuterium in LPI Studies[J]. Laser and Particle Beams, 2023, 2023(3): 2083295.