Turbulent transport reduction by E × B velocity shear during edge plasma biasing: Recent experimental results

G. Van Oost, J. Adámek, V. Antoni, P. Balan, J.A. Boedo, P. Devynck, I. Ďuran, L. Eliseev, J.P. Gunn, M. Hron, C. Ionita, S. Jachmich, G.S. Kirnev, E. Martines, A. Melnikov, R. Schrittwieser, C. Silva, J. Stöckel, M. Tendler, C. VarandasM. Van Schoor, V. Vershkov, R.R. Weynants

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Experiments in the tokamaks TEXTOR, CASTOR, T-10 and ISTTOK, as well as in the reversed field pinch RFX have provided new and complementary evidence on the physics of the universal mechanism of E × B velocity shear stabilization of turbulence, concomitant transport barrier formation and radial conductivity by using various edge biasing techniques. In TEXTOR the causality between transport reduction and induced electric fields in the edge has been for the first time clearly demonstrated. The high electric field gradients have been identified as the cause for the quenching of turbulent cells. A quantitative analysis of the measured transport reduction is in good agreement with theoretical predictions. The scaling of plasma turbulence suppression with velocity shear has been established, revealing the density-potential cross-phase as a key element. Reduction in poloidal electric field, temperature, and density fluctuations across the shear layer lead to a reduction of the anomalous conducted and convected heat fluxes resulting in an energy transport barrier that is measured directly. In CASTOR the biasing electrode is placed at the separatrix in a non-intrusive configuration which has demonstrated strongly sheared electric fields and consequent improvement of the global particle confinement, as predicted by theory. The impact of sheared E × B flow on edge turbulent structures has been measured directly using a comprehensive set of electrostatic probe arrays as well as emissive probes. Measurements with a full poloidal Langmuir probe array have revealed quasi-coherent electrostatic waves in the SOL with a dominant mode number equal to the edge safety factor. In T-10 edge biasing is clearly improving the global performance of ECR heated discharges. Reflectometry and heavy ion beam probe measurements show the existence of a narrow plasma layer with strong suppression of turbulence. On ISTTOK, the influence of alternating positive and negative electrode and (non-intrusive) limiter biasing has been compared. Electrode biasing is found to be more efficient in modifying the radial electric field Erand confinement, limiter biasing acting mainly on the SOL. In the RFX reversed field pinch it has been demonstrated that also in RFPs biasing can increase the local E × B velocity shear in the edge region, and hence substantially reduce the local turbulence driven particle flux mainly due to a change in the relative phase between potential and density fluctuations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621 - 643
Number of pages23
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Van Oost, G., Adámek, J., Antoni, V., Balan, P., Boedo, J. A., Devynck, P., ... Weynants, R. R. (2003). Turbulent transport reduction by E × B velocity shear during edge plasma biasing: Recent experimental results. Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, 45(5), 621 - 643. https://doi.org/10.1088/0741-3335/45/5/308