Clearly, controlling the interaction of the X-rays with the outer ablator layer of the fuel capsule is crucial for generating an efficient implosion and subsequent ignition of the fusion fuel.
By adding mid-Z dopants (like bromine, copper, or germanium) to the plastic or beryllium capsule ablator, we can control the density and opacity of the ablator. This in turn controls the ablation/compression physics in the fuel capsule.
Comparison of the calculated opacity of pure beryllium to a mixture of beryllium with 1% copper. The copper dopant increases the density of the ablator and also, as can be readily seen in the figure, increases the opacity significantly. This strongly af
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