Space and time resolved observations of plasma dynamics in a compressional gas embedded Z-pinch

Recent experiments in a gas embedded compressional Z-pinch are presented. The experiments have been carried out in H2 at 1/3 atm, using a pulse power generator capable of delivering a dI/dt > 1012 A/s. The pinch is initiated by a focused laser pulse, which is coaxial with a cylindrical DC rnicrodischarge. This configuration results in double column pinch at early times, which at current rise evolves into a gas embedded compressional Z-pinch. Diagnostics used are Rogowskii coil, single frame holographic interferometry and holographic shadowgraphy, visible streak camera images from which, current, density, line density, pinch radius and plasma motion are obtained. The pinch is characterized by a maximum on axis density which is much higher than the expected value from filling pressure, with a Bennett temperature of 40 eV at 130 kA‥ Results shown confirm the high degree of compression achievable with the composite preionization scheme.