Nitrogen-seeded divertor detachment in TCV L-mode plasmas

O. Février*, C. Theiler, J. R. Harrison, C. K. Tsui, K. Verhaegh, C. Wüthrich, J. A. Boedo, H. De Oliveira, B. P. Duval, B. Labit, B. Lipschultz, R. Maurizio, H. Reimerdes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Most of the detachment experiments done to date on the tokamak à configuration variable (TCV), both in standard and alternative divertor geometries, focused on L-mode integrated core density ramps. In view of extending these studies to high-power, high-confinement regimes, where impurity seeding will be necessary for detachment, the properties of nitrogen seeded L-mode detachment in TCV are assessed here with the extensive set of edge and divertor diagnostics and similarities and differences with integrated core density ramp detachment experiments are elucidated. It is found that in high current, reversed field plasmas, detachment at the outer target is achieved with N2-seeding and density ramps, with target heat flux reductions of up to 90%, while the inner target only detaches with seeding. The Scrape-Off Layer radiation fraction reaches values of 60%-80% and in all situations, a stable radiator can form around the X-point. The most striking difference between seeding and density ramp is the behavior of the upstream quantities. During the ramp, a broadening of the upstream density profile (density 'shoulder') occurs, concurrent with the outer target ion flux roll-over, while no such behavior occurs during nitrogen seeded detachment. Separatrix density, electron temperature and pressure also evolve strongly with increasing density, and are largely unaffected by the injection of nitrogen. Comparison of upstream and target pressures reveals that, in all cases, the outer target ion flux reduction coincides with the development of a parallel gradient of the total pressure. Common to all cases is also a reduction of energy confinement time with detachment, although this effect is weak for seeding at relatively high density. Studying the impact of the ∇B-drift direction in both nitrogen seeding and core density ramps reveals that drifts mainly affect the behavior at the inner strike point, highlighting the need to include them in edge transport simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035017
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number3
Early online date10 Feb 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Feb 2020

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  • Detachment
  • Divertor
  • Radiative cooling

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