During the past few years, substantial progress has been made in developing experimental techniques capable of investigating the response of materials to dynamic loading on nanosecond time scales and shorter, with multiple diagnostics probing different aspects of the behavior. These relatively short time scales are scientifically interesting because plastic flow and phase changes in common materials with simple crystal structures-such as iron-may be suppressed, allowing unusual states to be induced and the dynamics of plasticity and polymorphism to be explored. Loading by laser-induced ablation can be particularly convenient: this technique has been used to impart shocks and isentropic compression waves from ~1 to 200 GPa in a range of elements and alloys, with diagnostics including line imaging surface velocimetry, surface displacement (framed area imaging), x-ray diffraction (single crystal and polycrystal), ellipsometry, and Raman spectroscopy. A major motivation has been the study of the properties of beryllium under conditions relevant to the fuel capsule in inertial confinement fusion: magnetically driven shock and isentropic compression shots at Z were used to investigate the equation of state and shock melting characteristics, complemented by laser ablation experiments to investigate plasticity and heterogeneous response from the polycrystalline microstructure. These results will help to constrain acceptable tolerances on manufacturing, and possible loading paths, for inertial fusion ignition experiments at the National Ignition Facility. Laser-based techniques are being developed further for future material dynamics experiments, where it should be possible to obtain high quality data on strength and phase changes up to at least 1 TPa.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics