Sandia National Laboratories operates the Z Pulsed Power Facility, which is the world’s most powerful and efficient laboratory x-ray source. The Z-machine uses electric currents up to 27 mega-amperes to create magnetic drive pressures up to 100 MBar in a target. These high magnetic pressures are used in several ways to create high energy density (HED) matter for various physics applications, such as experiments relevant to the equation-of-state of planetary and solar interiors, dynamically compressed material properties, astrophysical plasmas, inertial confinement fusion, or intense x-ray sources for radiation effects studies. Located next to the Z Facility is the Z-Backlighter Laser Facility, which hosts both a kilojoule, nanosecond laser and a kilojoule petawatt-class short pulse laser. The laser pulses are, for example, used at Z to preheat an inertial confinement fusion target or to drive kilo-electronvolt x-ray sources as probes for a spherical crystal x-ray backlighter system or for x-ray diffraction experiments. A description of the Z Pulsed Power Facility and Z-Backlighter laser systems will be presented, followed by examples of their application both as a driver and as a diagnostic for HED physics experiments.
Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-NA0003525. SAND No. SAND2019-1291 A.