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Embedding Sapphire Spheres in Resorcinol Formaldehyde Aerogel for Astrophysical Jet Experiments

R. R. Paguio, J. F. Hund, B. E. Blue, D. G. Schroen, K. M. Saito, C. A. Frederick, R. J. Strauser, K. Quan

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 55 / Number 4 / May 2009 / Pages 484-489

Technical Paper / Eighteenth Target Fabrication Specialists' Meeting

Single and double sapphire spheres have been precisely suspended in 300 mg/cm3 RF aerogels without a supporting stalk by modifying parameters such as gelation time and stability of the aerogel precursor solution and use of a vacuum holder for the sphere placement. A process for fabricating a single-sphere target was also developed using a spider silk support (approximately) 100 times thinner than the earlier work on similar targets. Characterization of the ball placement and the aerogel was done by radiography. Data from the characterization of these targets showed that the ball was accurately placed and the aerogel matrix was not significantly altered.

 
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