Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 43 / Number 4 / June 2003 / Pages 540-558
The survivability of the final optic, which must sit in the line of sight of high-energy neutrons and gamma rays, is a key issue for any laser-driven inertial fusion energy (IFE) concept. Previous work has concentrated on the use of reflective optics. Here, we introduce and analyze the use of a transmissive final optic for the IFE application. Our experimental work has been conducted at a range of doses and dose rates, including those comparable to the conditions at the IFE final optic. The experimental work, in conjunction with detailed analysis, suggests that a thin, fused silica Fresnel lens may be an attractive option when used at a wavelength of 351 nm. Our measurements and molecular dynamics simulations provide convincing evidence that the radiation damage, which leads to optical absorption, not only saturates but that a "radiation annealing" effect is observed. A system-level description is provided, including Fresnel lens and phase plate designs.