Kaita, R.; Lucia, M.; Allain, J. P.; Bedoya, F.; Capece, A.; Jaworski, M.; Koel, B. E.; Majeski, R.; Roszell, J.; Schmitt, J.; Scotti, F.; Skinner, C. H.; Soukhanovskii, V.
The application of lithium to plasma-facing components (PFCs) has long been used as a technique for wall conditioning in magnetic confinement devices to improve plasma performance. Determining the characteristics of PFCs at the time of exposure to the plasma, however, is difficult because they can only be analyzed after venting the vacuum vessel and removing them at the end of an operational period. The Materials Analysis and Particle Probe (MAPP) addresses this problem by enabling PFC samples to be exposed to plasmas, and then withdrawn into an analysis chamber without breaking vacuum. The MAPP system was used to introduce samples that matched the metallic PFCs of the Lithium Tokamak Experiment (LTX). Lithium that was subsequently evaporated onto the walls also covered the MAPP samples, which were then subject to LTX discharges. In vacuo extraction and analysis of the samples indicated that lithium oxide formed on the PFCs, but improved plasma performance persisted in LTX. The reduced recycling this suggests is consistent with separate surface science experiments that demonstrated deuterium retention in the presence of lithium oxide films. Since oxygen decreases the thermal stability of the deuterium in the film, the release of deuterium was observed below the lithium deuteride dissociation temperature. This may explain what occurred when lithium was applied to the surface of the NSTX Liquid Lithium Divertor (LLD). The LLD had segments with individual heaters, and the deuterium-alpha emission was clearly lower in the cooler regions. The plan for NSTX-U is to replace the graphite tiles with high-Z PFCs, and apply lithium to their surfaces with lithium evaporation. Experiments with lithium coatings on such PFCs suggest that deuterium could still be retained if lithium compounds form, but limiting their surface temperatures may be necessary.
Yoo, Jongsoo; Na, Byungkeun; Jara-Almonte, Jonathan; Yamada, Maasaki; Ji, Hantao; Roytershteyn, V.; Argall, M. R.; Fox, W.; Chen, Li-Jen
Electron heating and the energy inventory during asymmetric reconnection are studied in the laboratory plasma with a density ratio of about 8 across the current sheet. Features of asymmetric reconnection such as the large density gradients near the low-density-side separatrices, asymmetric in-plane electric field, and bipolar out-of-plane magnetic field are observed. Unlike the symmetric case, electrons are also heated near the low-density-side separatrices. The measured parallel electric field may explain the observed electron heating. Although large fluctuations driven by lower-hybrid drift instabilities are also observed near the low-density-side separatrices, laboratory measurements and numerical simulations reported here suggest that they do not play a major role in electron energization. The average electron temperature increase in the exhaust region is proportional to the incoming magnetic energy per an electron/ion pair but exceeds scalings of the previous space observations. This discrepancy is explained by differences in the boundary condition and system size. The profile of electron energy gain from the electric field shows that there is additional electron energy gain associated with the electron diamagnetic current besides a large energy gain near the X-line. This additional energy gain increases electron enthalpy, not the electron temperature. Finally, a quantitative analysis of the energy inventory during asymmetric reconnection is conducted. Unlike the symmetric case where the ion energy gain is about twice more than the electron energy gain, electrons and ions obtain a similar amount of energy during asymmetric reconnection.
B. Frances Kraus; Gao, Lan; Hill, K. W.; Bitter, M.; Efthimion, P. C.; Hollinger, R.; Wang, Shoujun; Song, Huanyu; Nedbailo, R.; Rocca, J. J.; Mancini, R. C.; MacDonald, M. J.; Beatty, C. B.; Shepherd, R.
A high-resolution x-ray spectrometer was coupled with an ultrafast x-ray streak camera to produce time-resolved line shape spectra measured from hot, solid-density plasmas. A Bragg crystal was placed near a laser-produced plasma to maximize throughput; alignment tolerances were established by raytracing. The streak camera produced single-shot time-resolved spectra, heavily sloped due to photon time-of-flight differences, with sufficient reproducibility to accumulate photon statistics. The images are time-calibrated by the slope of streaked spectra and dewarped to generate spectra emitted at different times defined at the source. The streaked spectra demonstrate the evolution of spectral shoulders and other features on ps timescales, showing the feasibility of plasma parameter measurements on the rapid timescales necessary to study high-energy-density plasmas.
Bergstedt, K.; Ji, H.; Jara-Almonte, J.; Yoo, J.; Ergun, R. E.; Chen, L.-J.
We present the first statistical study of magnetic structures and associated energy dissipation observed during a single period of turbulent magnetic reconnection, by using the in situ measurements of the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission in the Earth's magnetotail on 26 July 2017. The structures are selected by identifying a bipolar signature in the magnetic field and categorized as plasmoids or current sheets via an automated algorithm which examines current density and plasma flow. The size of the plasmoids forms a decaying exponential distribution ranging from subelectron up to ion scales. The presence of substantial number of current sheets is consistent with a physical picture of dynamic production and merging of plasmoids during turbulent reconnection. The magnetic structures are locations of significant energy dissipation via electric field parallel to the local magnetic field, while dissipation via perpendicular electric field dominates outside of the structures. Significant energy also returns from particles to fields.
Hill, K. W.; Gao, L.; Kraus, B. F.; Bitter, M.; Efthimion, P. C.; Pablant, N. A.; Schneider, M. B.; Thorn, D. B.; Chen, H.; Kauffman, R. L.; Liedahl, D. A.; MacDonald, M. J.; MacPhee, A. G.; Scott, H. A.; Stoupin, S.; Doron, R.; Stambulchik, E.; Maron, Y.; Lahmann, B.
Numerical data used to draw the figures in the manuscript
Carlsson, J.; Khrabrov, A.; Kaganovich, I.; Sommerer, T.; Keating, D.
The two particle-in-cell codes EDIPIC and LSP are benchmarked and validated
for a parallel-plate glow discharge in helium, in which the axial electric
field had been carefully measured, primarily to investigate and improve the
fidelity of their collision models. The scattering anisotropy of
electron-impact ionization, as well as the value of the secondary-electron
emission yield, are not well known in this case. The experimental
uncertainty for the emission yield corresponds to a factor of two variation
in the cathode current. If the emission yield is tuned to make the cathode
current computed by each code match the experiment, the computed electric
fields are in excellent agreement with each other, and within about 10% of
the experimental value. The non-monotonic variation of the width of the
cathode fa ll with the applied voltage seen in the experiment is reproduced
by both codes. The electron temperature in the negative glow is within
experimental error bars for both codes, but the density of slow trapped
electrons is underestimated. A more detailed code comparison don e for
several synthetic cases of electron-beam injection into helium gas shows
that the codes are in excellent agreement for ionization rate, as well as
for elastic and excitation collisions with isotropic scattering pattern. The
remaining significant discrepancies between the two codes are due to
differences in their electron binary-collision models, and for anisotropic
scattering due to elastic and excitation collisions.
Caspary, Kyle J.; Choi, Dahan; Ebrahimi, Fatima; Gilson, Erik P.; Goodman, Jeremy; Ji, Hantao
The effects of axial boundary conductivity on the formation and stability of a magnetized free Stewartson-Shercliff layer (SSL) in a short Taylor-Couette device are reported. As the axial field increases with insulating endcaps, hydrodynamic Kelvin-Helmholtz-type instabilities set in at the SSLs of the conducting fluid, resulting in a much reduced flow shear. With conducting endcaps, SSLs respond to an axial field weaker by the square root of the conductivity ratio of endcaps to fluid. Flow shear continuously builds up as the axial field increases despite the local violation of the Rayleigh criterion, leading to a large number of hydrodynamically unstable modes. Numerical simulations of both the mean flow and the instabilities are in agreement with the experimental results.