Edge ambipolar potential in toroidal fusion plasmas

G. Spizzo, N. Vianello, R.B. White, S.S. Abdullaev, M. Agostini, R. Cavazzana, G. Ciaccio, M.E. Puiatti, P. Scarin, O. Schmitz, M. Spolaore, D. Terranova

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A series of issues with toroidally confined fusion plasmas are related to the generation of 3D flow patterns by means of edge magnetic islands, embedded in a chaotic field and interacting with the wall. These issues include the Greenwald limit in Tokamaks and reversed-field pinches, the collisionality window for ELM mitigation with the resonant magnetic perturbations (RMPs) in Tokamaks, and edge islands interacting with the bootstrap current in stellarators. Measurements of the 2D map of the edge electric field Er(r=a,θ,φ) in the RFX reversed-field pinch show that Erhas the same helicity of the magnetic islands generated by a m/n perturbation: in fact, defining the helical angle u=mθ-nφ+ωt, maps show a sinusoidal dependence as a function of u, Er=Ersin u. The associated E × B flow displays a huge convective cell with v(a)≠0 which, in RFX and near the Greenwald limit, determines a stagnation point for density and a reversal of the sign of Er. From a theoretical point of view, the question is how a perturbed toroidal flux of symmetry m/n gives rise to an ambipolar potential Φ=Φsin u. On the basis of a model developed with the guiding center code Orbit and applied to RFX and the TEXTOR tokamak, we will show that the presence of an m/n perturbation in any kind of device breaks the toroidal symmetry with a drift proportional to the gyroradius ρ, thus larger for ions (ρi≫ρe). Immediately, an ambipolar potential arises to balance the drifts, with the same symmetry as the original perturbation. © 2014 EURATOM.
Original languageEnglish
Article number056102
Pages (from-to)-
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Spizzo, G., Vianello, N., White, R. B., Abdullaev, S. S., Agostini, M., Cavazzana, R., ... Terranova, D. (2014). Edge ambipolar potential in toroidal fusion plasmas. Physics of Plasmas, 21(5), -. [056102]. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4872173