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The role of radial electric fields in the tokamaks TEXTOR-94, CASTOR, and T-10
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2001 (English)In: Czechoslovak Journal of Physics, ISSN 0011-4626, E-ISSN 1572-9486, Vol. 51, no 10, 957-975 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Radial electric fields (E-r) and their role in the establishment of edge transport barriers and improved confinement have been studied in the tokamaks TEXTOR-94 and CASTOR, where E-r is externally applied to the plasma in a controlled way using a biased electrode, as well as in the tokamak T-10 where an edge transport barrier (H-mode) is obtained during electron-cyclotron resonance heating (ECRH) of the plasma. The physics of radial currents was studied and the radial conductivity in the edge of TEXTOR-94 (R = 1.75 m, a = 0.46 m) was found to be dominated by recycling (ion-neutral collisions) at the last closed flux surface (LCFS) and by parallel viscosity inside the LCFS. From a performance point of view (edge engineering), such electrode biasing was shown to induce a particle transport barrier, a reduction of particle transport, and a concomitant increase in energy confinement. An H-mode-like behaviour can be induced both with positive and negative electric fields. Positive as well as negative electric fields were shown to strongly affect the exhaust of hydrogen, helium, and impurities, not only in the H-mode-like regime. The impact of sheared radial electric fields on turbulent structures and flows at the plasma edge is investigated on the CASTOR tokamak (R = 0.4 m, a = 0.085 m). A non-intrusive biasing scheme that we call separatrix biasing is applied whereby the electrode is located in the scrape-off layer (SOL) with its tip just touching the LCFS. There is evidence of strongly sheared radial electric field and E x B flow, resulting in the formation of a transport barrier at the separatrix. Advanced probe diagnosis of the edge region has shown that the E x B shear rate that arises during separatrix biasing is larger than for standard edge plasma biasing. The plasma flows, especially the poloidal E x B drift velocity, are strongly modified in the sheared region, reaching Mach numbers as high as half the sound speed. The corresponding shear rates (approximate to5 x 10(6) s(-1)) derived from both the flow and electric field profiles are in excellent agreement and are at least an order of magnitude higher than the growth rate of unstable turbulent modes as estimated from fluctuation measurements. During ECRH in the tokamak T-10 (R = 1.5 m, a = 0.3 m), a regime of improved confinement is obtained with features resembling those in the H-mode in other tokamaks. Using a heavy ion beam probe, a narrow potential well is observed near the limiter together with the typical features of the L-H transition. The time evolution of the plasma profiles during L-H and H-L transitions is clearly correlated with that of the density profile and the formation of a transport barrier near the limiter, The edge electric field is initially positive after the onset of ECRH. It changes its sign during the L-H transition and grows till a steady condition is reached. Similar to the biasing experiments in TEXTOR-94 and CASTOR, the experimentally observed transport barrier is a barrier for particles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 51, no 10, 957-975 p.
Keyword [en]
scrape-off layer, improved confinement, h-mode, electrostatic fluctuations, neutral-beam, exhaust, edge, flow, transition, turbulence
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-21143DOI: 10.1023/A:1012866813515ISI: 000172493000001OAI: diva2:339840
QC 20100525Available from: 2010-08-10 Created: 2010-08-10Bibliographically approved

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Tendler, Michael
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Alfvén Laboratory
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