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Experimental study of parametric dependence of electron-scale turbulence in a spherical tokamak

Publication ,  Journal Article
Ren, Y; Guttenfelder, W; Kaye, SM; Mazzucato, E; Bell, RE; Diallo, A; Domier, CW; Leblanc, BP; Lee, KC; Smith, DR; Yuh, H
Published in: Physics of Plasmas
May 1, 2012

Electron-scale turbulence is predicted to drive anomalous electron thermal transport. However, experimental study of its relation with transport is still in its early stage. On the National Spherical Tokamak Experiment (NSTX), electron-scale density fluctuations are studied with a novel tangential microwave scattering system with high radial resolution of ±2 cm. Here, we report a study of parametric dependence of electron-scale turbulence in NSTX H-mode plasmas. The dependence on density gradient is studied through the observation of a large density gradient variation in the core induced by an edge localized mode (ELM) event, where we found the first clear experimental evidence of density gradient stabilization of electron-gyro scale turbulence in a fusion plasma. This observation, coupled with linear gyro-kinetic calculations, leads to the identification of the observed instability as toroidal electron temperature gradient (ETG) modes. It is observed that longer wavelength ETG modes, k ⊥ ρs ≲ 10 (ρs is the ion gyroradius at electron temperature and k is the wavenumber perpendicular to local equilibrium magnetic field), are most stabilized by density gradient, and the stabilization is accompanied by about a factor of two decrease in electron thermal diffusivity. Comparisons with nonlinear ETG gyrokinetic simulations show ETG turbulence may be able to explain the experimental electron heat flux observed before the ELM event. The collisionality dependence of electron-scale turbulence is also studied by systematically varying plasma current and toroidal field, so that electron gyroradius (ρe), electron beta (β e), and safety factor (q95) are kept approximately constant. More than a factor of two change in electron collisionality, νe*, was achieved, and we found that the spectral power of electron-scale turbulence appears to increase as νe* is decreased in this collisonality scan. However, both linear and nonlinear simulations show no or weak dependence with the electron-ion collision frequency, νe/i. Instead, other equilibrium parameters (safety factor, electron density gradient, for example) affect ETG linear growth rate and electron thermal transport more than νe/i does. Furthermore, electron heat flux predicted by the simulations is found to have an order-of-magnitude spatial variation in the experimental measurement region and is also found to be much smaller than experimental levels except at one radial location we evaluated. The predicted electron heat flux is shown to be strongly anti-correlated with density gradient, which varies for a factor of three in the measurement region, which is in agreement with the density gradient dependence study reported in this paper. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

Duke Scholars

Published In

Physics of Plasmas

DOI

ISSN

1070-664X

Publication Date

May 1, 2012

Volume

19

Issue

5

Related Subject Headings

  • Fluids & Plasmas
  • 5109 Space sciences
  • 5106 Nuclear and plasma physics
  • 0203 Classical Physics
  • 0202 Atomic, Molecular, Nuclear, Particle and Plasma Physics
  • 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences
 

Citation

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MLA
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Ren, Y., Guttenfelder, W., Kaye, S. M., Mazzucato, E., Bell, R. E., Diallo, A., … Yuh, H. (2012). Experimental study of parametric dependence of electron-scale turbulence in a spherical tokamak. Physics of Plasmas, 19(5). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4719689
Ren, Y., W. Guttenfelder, S. M. Kaye, E. Mazzucato, R. E. Bell, A. Diallo, C. W. Domier, et al. “Experimental study of parametric dependence of electron-scale turbulence in a spherical tokamak.” Physics of Plasmas 19, no. 5 (May 1, 2012). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4719689.
Ren Y, Guttenfelder W, Kaye SM, Mazzucato E, Bell RE, Diallo A, et al. Experimental study of parametric dependence of electron-scale turbulence in a spherical tokamak. Physics of Plasmas. 2012 May 1;19(5).
Ren, Y., et al. “Experimental study of parametric dependence of electron-scale turbulence in a spherical tokamak.” Physics of Plasmas, vol. 19, no. 5, May 2012. Scopus, doi:10.1063/1.4719689.
Ren Y, Guttenfelder W, Kaye SM, Mazzucato E, Bell RE, Diallo A, Domier CW, Leblanc BP, Lee KC, Smith DR, Yuh H. Experimental study of parametric dependence of electron-scale turbulence in a spherical tokamak. Physics of Plasmas. 2012 May 1;19(5).

Published In

Physics of Plasmas

DOI

ISSN

1070-664X

Publication Date

May 1, 2012

Volume

19

Issue

5

Related Subject Headings

  • Fluids & Plasmas
  • 5109 Space sciences
  • 5106 Nuclear and plasma physics
  • 0203 Classical Physics
  • 0202 Atomic, Molecular, Nuclear, Particle and Plasma Physics
  • 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences