For particle beam fusion it is necessary to produce a highly ionized plasma where most of the ions are in one charge state and the plasma is free of impurities. Singly ionized lithium appears to have the proper characteristics for ion diode focusing and for fusion target designs. To be used in a diode, a means of producing a pure Li plasma that is predominantly Li+ must be found. The formation of Li plasma with a laser tuned to the first resonant line at 670.8 nm appears to be a method for producing the required plasmas at modest power levels and modest total energy. We have been investigating the use of laser resonance saturation absorption to produce Li plasmas for ion fusion diodes.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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