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Use of Faraday Probing to Estimate Current Distribution in Wire Array Z-Pinches

S.N. Bland, S.C. Bott, A. Guite, G.N. Hall, S. M. Hardy, S.V. Lebedev, P. Shardlow, A. Harvey-Thompson, F. Suzuki Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London D.J. Ampleford Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque K. H. Kwek Physics Dept, University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This research was sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, and NNSA under DOE Cooperative Agreement DE-F03-02NA00057

Wire array z-pinches

jxB jz

Wires heat, ablate into plasma JxB force towards axis On stagnation, X-ray pulse 280TW, 2MJ soft X-rays @ 20% efficiency Large questions over physics behind implosions

Implosion trajectory Ablation of wires

240x7.5um W on 120x7.5um W on Z

% of implosion time

ICF and arrays

Interest in arrays spurred by huge X-ray powers (>200TW) Already used to provide temperatures for NIF hohlraums Possible ICF drive already >97% symmetries at capsule Perhaps even IFE as highly efficient (>15%)

Sanford et al,

CRUCIAL to understand plasma formation and dynamics and learn to control it

Arrays and HEDP

Arrays also serve as a highly versatile source of plasma
Precursor ni ~1017 1019 cm-3, T ~10 -100eV Stable inertially confined body of plasma, effects of coupling cannot be ignored Stagnated plasma ni > 1020 cm-3, T > 400eV

Precursor can be redirected into jet Jet scalable to astrophysical jets Can be interacted with gases/foils

CRUCIAL to understand plasma formation and dynamics and learn to control it

Plasma Formation in Wire Arrays

MAGPIE 16x15m Al 124ns

Wire core remains stationary J^B force acts just to accelerate coronal plasma around core Streams then flow force free to axis

Radiography (3-5kV)

Laser probing (ne ~ 1017 cm-3)


Phenomenological model of ablation:

dm 0 2 v =IB= I dt 4 r

Cold relatively dense core ~250m in Al

Core ablates to coronal plasma v~1.5x105 ms-1 Ablation axially modulated

Implosion Dynamics in Arrays

Ablation of cores axially modulated
Radius (mm)
Core-corona formation 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 0 Implosion not like a shell snowploughs coronal plasma Precursor on axis 20 40 60 80 100 Gaps form in cores Imploding debris field

Until ~80% of 0-D time ablation continues Gaps form in cores and implosion occurs as snowplough accreting prefilled mass

Stagnation & x-ray pulse

Implosion of an aluminium array

Gaps snowplough precursor debris

% of implosion time
Peak X-rays debris imploded

Current distribution in arrays

The distribution of current throughout the various stages of array evolution will strongly effect plasma dynamics Prior to implosion it is usually assumed that the majority of current remains concentrated close to the wire cores. Supported by observations of a stable precursor column and inductance calculations But current could accelerate coronal plasma flowing towards axis This could significantly change ablation estimates During implosion, trailing mass is observed after the snowplough Current switching back into the trailing mass causes it to implode This could Limit X-ray production at stagnation

XUV images of an array implosion showing trailing mass implodes after peak X-rays




1-1.4MA, 240ns rise time High impedance generator Good diagnostic access return at 7.5cm

Traditional measurements of I
Pick up or B-dot coil:
B I B Faradays law:

V pickup =

d dt

For n turns: V pickup = n Sub for B:

d B.d S


B-dot positioned with Z-pinch

V pickup

o dI = nA 2r dt

Rogowski groove:
A machined groove effectively acts as a single turn coil I Vgroove B B

Vgroove = z


0I dr 2r b dI = z 0 ln . dt 2 a dt

Can be made and positioned accurately More easily shielded from electric field effects

Problems with pick up coils

Electron flow early in time
eI B I B Vgroove At early times, e- flow from transmission line Can short out/shield +Ve B Flow of plasma

Shielding by plasma

In high conductivity plasmas magnetic flux can be trapped in the flow, shielding the probe

Electric field pick up

E I B Capacitive voltage pick up of coil

Breakdown to probe
Before coil After

Opposite wound coils can quantify this t

High fields can lead to breakdown through probes themselves destroys probe, damages scope and disturbs pinch

Faraday Probing
EM waves passing through optically active materials in a magnetic field have a difference in wave velocities for the right hand and the left hand nodes of a circularly polarized wave wave rotates as propagating -Faraday Rotation Can be monitored be examining intensities of different polarisations In a plasma, the rotation , is a function of plasma density:

1 e3 1 = m 2 2 n e B dl 2c 0 e
= B dl

Solving for B allows I to be determined

Alternately, a rod of active solid material, such as quartz or Verdet glass can be used where is the Verdet constant

Faraday Probing and Arrays

2 ways to use Faraday Probing with arrays: Imaging Faraday and Time resolved

Use short pulse laser to provide polarised images of array and examine transmitted intensities can provide information on where current is flowing in plasma if density is known

MAGPIE 16x15m Al 124ns

Alternatively can use CW laser, and examine polarised transmission across a chord in time. To remove uncertainties in plasma density, laser passes through Verdet material e.g. quartz

To analysers and scope

Faraday Probing Imaging set-up

Input SBS compressed Nd YAG pulse ~300mJ, 532ns, 0.7ns Front telescope Polarizer Non-polarizing beamsplitter Faraday line Analyser in parallel light Extinction ~ 104 16-bit cooled CCD

8-bit CCD Shadowgraphy line

8-bit CCD

Because the degree of rotation is small, a polariser is required before array Analyser in parallel light (at focus of telescope) via non-polarising beamsplitter Faraday, interferometry and shadowgraphy all share same (low) acceptance angle

Mach-Zehnder line

Faraday Probing Imaging set-up

The analyser (a second polariser) is set at a small angle A to extinction Current flowing through the z-pinch will set up a magnetic field around it On one side the field will be towards the beam, on the other away 2 intensities result on the camera dark side and light side

I bright = I 0 cos2 ( A )
I dark = I 0 cos2 ( A + )
Providing we know background intensity (Io), or how it is changing shot to shot, monitoring bright and dark allows to be calculated Then knowing electron density profile we can find B

From M. Tatarakis et al, Phys. Plas. 5, P682 (1998)

Faraday Probing Imaging results

16mm 4x18um W array background

precursor Shot 0607:176ns, A positive

wires Shot 0611: 188ns, A negative

During shot intensity on one side of the precursor higher than other Idark and Ibright swap sides when A swaps direction indicates current present in precursor

0.50 0.45 0.40 0.35

Faraday Probing Imaging results



rotation (deg)


magnetic field (T)

0.20 0.15 0.10 0.05 0.00 600


current (kA)
700 800 900 1000




6 0 40


700 800 900 1000 1100

radius (um)
5.0 4.5

radius (m)

4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0 600

Assuming cylindrical symmetry of precursor, its density can be determined from interferometry Rotation and density suggest a current of ~100kA through precursor (11% total I)
700 800 900 1000

density (+18) (cm-3)

radius (m)

Faraday Probing Imaging results

Small, if any, rotation observed in 8 wire arrays, <4% current through precursor With 16 wire arrays, plasma from wires obscures view of axis
16mm 8x13um W array 183ns

8x13um W array 198ns

The level of current in the precursor can also be estimated from its stability: Where is a constant that depends on B I c growth rate = A = = mode of MHD instability r0 r0 2r02 In arrays of 8+ wires, the lack of instabilities observed suggest I < 7% total current (likely much less)

Faraday Probing Imaging limitations

1 e3 1 Plasma provide only small rotations: = m 2 2 n e B dl 2c 0 e
Stability arguments suggest that the precursor - say a 2mm body of ~5x1018 e- cm-3 - carries <7% of the total current. Hence the rotation can be of order ~0.1degrees! In addition, absorption, and refraction limit the density that can be measured accurately in the interferogrammes to ~1019 cm-3 Refraction cut off when

dne dx dl

2.5x1020cm-3 (acceptance angle 0.03rads)

2 ne2 Z ln
ne Te 1 n c
3 2

Absorption due to inverse Bremstrahlung KBR = 8.73x10-26

1 2

Te in eV

Plasma that has expanded close to the wire cores refracts/absorbs light. This can , for instance, obstruct interferometry of the precursor - eg, for 16 wires on 16mm diameter array, side-on interferometry of precursor is difficult/impossible

Time resolved Faraday set-up

DET210 high speed diode CW laser 532nm, 35mW Verdet rod either besides or in array

Cube polariser as analyser

The laser is already well polarised, and angle of rotation is so large (>/8) only an analyser is required Rod must be protected from both EM radiation (it could scintillate), shock and debris Thor Labs DET210 detector at 532nm with 50 load: Faraday rod in V = 14xinput power in W protection tube next Time response ~1ns to short circuit load

DET210 high speed diode

High Verdet Glass characteristics

Previous time resolved Faraday systems have used quartz rods, Verdet constant Verdet constant ~ 0.02 min/Oe-cm or 6.6rad /Tm at 532 nm In order to allow small sample lengths to be used (say ~1mm) localising measurements to precursor and wires - high Verdet constant glass is used to provide a measurable rotation. MR3-2 faraday glass was supplied by Xian Aofa Optoelectronic technology inc Verdet constant: 0.327min/Oe-cm or 108 rad /Tm Rods of 3.15mm diameter, initially 13mm length For the precursor, if we want to measure a minimum of 10kA (1% peak current) in a 2mm section of rod, placed 2mm from axis: Rotation MR3-2 ~ 0.1rads or 12degrees Quartz ~ 0.006 rads or 0.4degrees

CW Diode laser characteristics

CW Diode pumped Nd-YAG laser supplied by Wicked Lasers 35mW CLASS 3B, 532nm TEM00, Beam diameter ~2mm, Divergence <1.2mRad Usually powered by 2xAAA batteries! Mains powered, with copper heat sink

Diode voltage (V)






Time (us)

Time resolved Faraday test

Rod placed in loop of wire carrying fast rising current:

I ~ 3Ka, 300ns rise time

From Biot Savart Law:

Current (kA)



3 2 2

2 1 0 -1 -2 -3

0.2 0.1 0.0 -0.1

Integrating, and substituting into the rotation equation with r =7mm and length 13mm:

= B(t) dl = 8.5x10 I(t)


Therefore at peak current we expect a rotation of ~0.28radians or ~16degrees

Measured current through loop and expected rotation

0 1000 2000 3000 4000


-0.3 5000

Time (ns)

Expected rotation (rads)

0r 2 B(x ) = I(t) 2

where r is the radius of the coil

3 0.3

Time resolved Faraday test

Expected rotation (rads)
0.3 0.2 0.1 0.0 -0.1 -0.2 -0.3 0 1000 2000
+/16 +/8 +/4

1.0 0.9

I diode1 = I 0cos2 ( A )
cos (rotation)

0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3

I diode2 = I 0cos2 (A + )
Unfortunately uncertainty in the initial polarisation A makes analysis difficult future experiments require A to be known and set before experiment ie Rotate polarisation to 0 on diode 1, max on diode 2
Diode s polar Diode p polar

0.2 3000

Time (ns)
Diode voltage (V)

Opposite signals from the 2 diodes suggest Faraday rotation is taking place Intensity peaks with peak current as expected




0.00 -1000 0 1000 2000 3000

Time (ns)

Time resolved Faraday on MAGPIE

Short circuits were used to test the system on MAGPIE

Top down view M10 bolt (short circuit) Faraday rod inside protection tube bolted into position

Again Biot Savart can be used to calculate the field expected at the rod. Integration and substituting for rotation:

= B(t) dl =

0 I(t ) 1 L tan = 1.5x107 I(t) 2d

Hence at peak current of 1MA, the rotation should be 16.6rads.

Time resolved Faraday on MAGPIE

1000 800 1.0 0.8

The MAGPIE current pulse model:

cos (rotation)

Current (kA)

600 400 200 0

0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 300

I(t) = I 0sin 2 (

where I0 = 1MA, = 240ns

t ) 2

Diode 1 Diode 2





The intensity measured on the diodes expected to show at least 5 minima over the current pulse

Time (ns)

Diode voltage (V)

0.08 0.06 0.04 0.02 0.00 -0.02 0 50 100 150 200 250 300

In experiment any real signal is swamped by noise both electrical and optical

Time (ns)

Need to know current distribution in wire array

Imaging Faraday system Measures rotation in polarised laser image Successfully used to examine current in precursor Small rotations make accuracy difficult Suffers from absorption/ refraction problems

Time resolved Faraday system

Uses CW laser through Verdet glass rod positioned close to pinch

Successfully tested offline

In experiment swamped by electrical/optical noise Questions remain as to disturbance of saturation or rod and disturbance of plasma in experiment

Future Improvements
Imaging faraday will be improved via: a) Better input beam Improvements in the laser system will remove many of the spatial features present in intensity b) improved polarizers Glan-Taylor Prisms provide 105 extinction Time resolved faraday requires electrical and optical noise present at the diode to be reduced, or the introduction of a far more powerful laser: a) The optical shielding will be increased with better interference filters. b) The 30mW CW laser currently used will not improve the basic signal level. One option would be a more powerful CW laser. BUT DET210 detectors have a maximum input of 100mW CW not much improvement

Expected power (KW)

Pulsed train from main MAGPIE laser

Input 100mJ, 7ns

400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 0 50 100 150 200

Plate Polarizer

Faraday rotator

97% beamsplitter

Time (ns)

References and Acknowledgements

J.H.Hammer et al, Phys. of Plasmas Vol6 P2129 (1999). T.W.L.Sanford et al, Phys. Rev. Letters Vol77 P5063 (1996). C.Deeney et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. Vol81 P4883 (1999). G. Bennett et al, Phys. Plasmas Vol10, P3717 (2003). S.V. Lebedev et al, Phys. Plasmas Vol8 P3734 (2001). M. Tatarakis et al, Phys. Plas. Vol5 P682 (1998). F.J.Wessel et al, Rev. Sci. Instrum. Vol57 P2246 (1986). Wasif Syed of Cornell University for useful conversations on Faraday Rotation and high Verdet constant glass

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