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First-principles equation of state of polystyrene and its effect on inertial confinement fusion implosions.


Obtaining an accurate equation of state (EOS) of polystyrene (CH) is crucial to reliably design inertial confinement fusion (ICF) capsules using CH/CH-based ablators. With first-principles calculations, we have investigated the extended EOS of CH over a wide range of plasma conditions (ρ=0.1to100g/cm(3) and T=1000 to 4,000,000 K). When compared with the widely used SESAME-EOS table, the first-principles equation of state (FPEOS) of CH has shown significant differences in the low-temperature regime, in which strong coupling and electron degeneracy play an essential role in determining plasma properties. Hydrodynamic simulations of cryogenic target implosions on OMEGA using the FPEOS table of CH have predicted ∼30% decrease in neutron yield in comparison with the usual SESAME simulations. This is attributed to the ∼5% reduction in implosion velocity that is caused by the ∼10% lower mass ablation rate of CH predicted by FPEOS. Simulations using CH-FPEOS show better agreement with measurements of Hugoniot temperature and scattered light from ICF implosions.