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The target is replaced at each experiment because its operation leads to extensive and irreversible deformation.

Each target is a microsystem that is designed and manufactured to obtain, after receiving the energy from the LMJ beams, the physical phenomenon (but on a minute mass) similar to that produced during the operation of a nuclear weapon. The measurement systems are then used to characterize the parameters of the phenomenon, which are compared to those calculated by the code.

Targets used at the LMJ © CEATargets used at the LMJ © CEA
Targets used at the LMJ © CEA

Certain targets will be used for inertial confinement fusion experiments. Several dozen other targets of various shapes will be used to study physical processes and the behavior of materials under extreme conditions.

Because a specific target is needed for each experiment, targets of many types with specific geometries and materials have been made.

Technological challenges of microtargets

Microtechnologies, nanotechnologies and material physics and chemistry were used to develop and manufacture these targets.

Gold hohlraum being micromachined. © CEA
Gold hohlraum being micromachined. © CEA

Targets are designed by teams of physicists and designers at the CEA/DAM center in the Paris region. Most target components are made at the CEA/DAM center in Valduc, which is specialized in various processes ranging from precision manufacturing to the shaping of very-small-scale materials.
The CEA/DAM center in Ripault applies its skills in non-metallic materials to design and produce the polymers, foam capsules and aerogels used for certain targets.

Cryogenic target carrier

In certain experiments, particularly fusion experiments, the target on which the laser beams will be focused must be brought to a very low temperature. The experimental chamber is fitted with an insertion device, called a cryogenic target carrier, to position cryogenic targets with a high degree of precision at the focal point. Its development required overcoming challenges in the fields of mechanics and thermal physics.

Cryogenic technologies are developed by the low-temperature department of CEA's Physical Sciences Division (Institute for Nanoscience and Cryogenics – INAC).


MàJ: 18/11/2014
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