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A differentially pumped argon plasma in the linear plasma generator Magnum-PSI: gas flow and dynamics of the ionized fraction

By H.J.N. van Eck, T.A.R. Hansen, A.W. Kleyn, H.J. van der Meiden, D.C. Schram and P.A. Zeijlmans van Emmichoven


Magnum-PSI is a linear plasma generator designed to reach the plasma–surface interaction (PSI) regime of ITER and nuclear fusion reactors beyond ITER. To reach this regime, the influx of cold neutrals from the source must be significantly lower than the plasma flux reaching the target. This is achieved by a differential pumping scheme, where the vacuum vessel is divided by skimmers into separate chambers which are individually pumped. The non-magnetized expansion of 5 Pa m3 s-1 (3 slm) argon in a low background pressure was studied in the differentially pumped vacuum vessel fitted with non-cooled flat skimmers. The behavior of the neutral component was studied with direct simulation Monte Carlo simulations and Rayleigh scattering measurements. Thomson scattering and double Langmuir probe measurements were performed on the ionized fraction. It was found that the electrons and neutral particles are not completely coupled in the shock front. The neutral fraction shows clear signs of invasion from hotter background gas, causing the average temperature and density to increase before the shock. This is also shown in the ionization ratio, which has been determined in front of and behind the first skimmer. This study helps us to understand the behavior of the gas flow in the machine and validates our modeling

Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1088/0963-0252/20/4/045016
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Provided by: NARCIS
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