Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 49 / Number 4 / May 2006 / Pages 822-831
Technical Paper / Target Fabrication
A laser processing system has been developed to drill high aspect ratio holes through the impermeable beryllium capsules envisioned for ignition shots on NIF. The drilling system was designed to produce holes with an entrance and exit diameter of approximately 5 m through the full 175 m thickness of the capsule. To meet these requirements, a frequency doubled femtosecond-class Ti:Sapphire laser is directed through a high numerical aperture lens to provide the spot geometry needed to drill the hole. The laser pulse is confined by the metallic walls of the hole, thereby maintaining the diameter of the channel well beyond the Rayleigh range of the optical system. Presented is the current state of this work-in-progress, including descriptions of the device and the technique used to produce the holes. The various means of characterizing the laser-drilled channels are also discussed.