A compact, self-contained magnetic-seed-field generator (5 to 16 T) is the enabling technology for a novel laser-driven flux-compression scheme in laser-driven targets. A magnetized target is directly irradiated by a kilojoule or megajoule laser to compress the preseeded magnetic field to thousands of teslas. A fast (300 ns), 80 kA current pulse delivered by a portable pulsed-power system is discharged into a low-mass coil that surrounds the laser target. A >15 T target field has been demonstrated using a <100 J capacitor bank, a laser-triggered switch, and a low-impedance (<1) strip line. The device has been integrated into a series of magnetic-flux-compression experiments on the 60 beam, 30 kJ OMEGA laser [T. R. Boehly, Opt. Commun. 133, 495 (1997)]. The initial application is a novel magneto-inertial fusion approach [O. V. Gotchev, J. Fusion Energy 27, 25 (2008)] to inertial confinement fusion (ICF), where the amplified magnetic field can inhibit thermal conduction losses from the hot spot of a compressed target. This can lead to the ignition of massive shells imploded with low velocity-a way of reaching higher gains than is possible with conventional ICF.
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