Capsule implosion experiments on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) are driven with a carefully tailored laser pulse that delivers a sequence of shocks to the ablator and fuel. To ensure the shocks converge at the desired position, the shock strength and velocity are measured in experimental platforms referred to as keyhole targets. Shock measurements have been made on capsules completely filled with liquid deuterium for the solid deuterium tritide (D-T) layer campaigns. Modeling has been used to extend these results to form an estimate of the shock properties in solid D-T layers.

To verify and improve the surrogacy of the liquid-filled keyhole measurements, we have developed a technique to form a solid layer inside the keyhole capsule. The layer is typically uniform over a 400-μm-diameter area. This is sufficient to allow direct measurement of the shock velocity. This layering technique has been successfully applied to 13 experiments on the NIF. The technique may also be applicable to fast-igniter experiments since some proposed designs resemble keyhole targets. We discuss our method in detail and give representative results.