Shock Ignition is a promising approach to reach ignition by means of intense laser pulses driving a strong shock on a pre-compressed fuel pellet. This scheme, proposed in 2007 by R.Betti (Rochester University, USA), has the advantage of strongly reducing the hydrodynamic instabilities. Moreover, a full-scale demonstration can be realized with present day technology and facilities (e.g. National Ignition Facility in Livermore, Laser MegaJoule in Bordeaux). In the framework of a recently approved collaborative European project, funded by EUROFUSION (European Consortium for the Development of Fusion Energy), we recently carried out several experimental campaigns at the Prague Asterix Laser System (Prague, Czech Republic) to investigate laser-plasma interaction in conditions relevant for Shock Ignition, i.e. laser intensities of 10^16 W/cm2 impinging on long (mm) and hot (several keV) plasmas .
The paper “Measurements of parametric instabilities at laser intensities relevant to strong shock generation” analyses in detail the onset and the growth of parametric instabilities (Stimulated Raman Scattering, Stimulated Brillouin Scattering, Two Plasmon Decay) in such conditions. It has been recently published in Physics of Plasmas and promoted as an Editor’s Pick.