The mechanisms of laser imprint reduction on a surface of a planar foil performed using an underdense foam are presented. The consequences on the Rayleigh-Taylor instability growth at the ablation front when the foil is accelerated are studied. The analysis is based on numerical simulations using a chain of codes: the electromagnetic paraxial code Parax provides the modifications of the intensity perturbation spectrum while the laser beam is crossing the foam. Two-dimensional axially symmetric simulations with the radiation hydrodynamic code CHIC describe the foam expansion and the foil dynamics. Finally, the perturbed flow calculations and the instability growth are investigated with the two-dimensional CHIC version in the planar geometry by using the initial and smoothed perturbation spectra. The dominant role of temporal laser smoothing during the time of foam crossing by the laser beam is demonstrated. Applications to the direct drive targets for inertial confinement fusion are discussed. © IOP Publishing and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.
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