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Vapor-Deposited Polyimide Ablators for NIF: Effects of Deposition Process Parameters and Solvent Vapor Smoothing on Capsule Surface Finish

Stephan A. Letts, April E. H. Nissen, Pascal J. Orthion, Steven R. Buckley, Evelyn Fearon, Christopher Chancellor, C. Chad Roberts, Bryan K. Parrish, Robert C. Cook

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 41 / Number 3P1 / May 2002 / Pages 268-277

Technical Paper / Fourteenth Target Fabrication Specialists' Meeting /

Recent progress made at LLNL on fabricating NIF scale polyimide capsules using vapor deposition techniques is detailed. Our major focus has been on improving the capsule surf ace finish through better understanding of the origin of surface roughness created during the deposition process and implementation of a post-deposition vapor smoothing procedure prior to imidization. We have determined that the most important factors during the deposition process that impact surface finish include mandrel quality, monomer mixing, selfshadowing, and abrasion. We have shown that high rate deposition (above 10 μm/h) is effective at reducing roughness, which we believe is due to the shorter total time of shell agitation in the bouncer pan. By adjusting the coating conditions, coatings up to 160 μm thick have been reproduc-My fabricated with 300 nm RMS roughness. Solvent vapor smoothing, a new technique also developed at LLNL, further improves the surface to 30 nm RMS.

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