A new fusion capsule drive scheme was investigated. The capsule is illuminated by a low intensity thermal X ray pulse prior to the main drive pulse. This leads to a noticeable suppression of initial imprinting by the drive beam because of thermal smoothing in the preformed plasma. Of the several types of indirect-direct hybrid target, the authors investigated the hybrid effect for two types. One is a foam hybrid, in which the fuel capsule has a low density foam layer attached directly on its surface and where pulsed radiation generated from a thin high Z layer on the foam propagates through the foam, creating a preformed plasma. The other is an external hybrid, in which the capsule is illuminated by external X ray radiation generated using different beams from the capsule drive beams. The hybrid effect was demonstrated for both types by imposing an initial imprint on a planar target with an intensity modulated beam, and subsequent non-uniformity growth due to Rayleigh-Taylor instability was observed by means of face-on backlighting. The observed suppression due to the presence of the preformed plasma is interpreted by a cloudy day model for both hybrids. Capsule implosion experiments have also been started. The overall implosion dynamics observed is replicated by 1-D hydrocode simulations. Preliminary results from the implosion experiments are presented.
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