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Super H-mode: Theoretical prediction and initial observations of a new high performance regime for tokamak operation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Published copy (DOI)


  • P. B. Snyder
  • W. M. Solomon
  • K. H. Burrell
  • A. M. Garofalo
  • B. A. Grierson
  • R. J. Groebner
  • A. W. Leonard
  • R. Nazikian
  • T. H. Osborne
  • E. A. Belli
  • J. Candy
  • H. R. Wilson


Publication details

JournalNuclear Fusion
DatePublished - 1 Aug 2015
Issue number8
Original languageEnglish


A new 'Super H-mode' regime is predicted, which enables pedestal height and predicted fusion performance substantially higher than for H-mode operation. This new regime is predicted to exist by the EPED pedestal model, which calculates criticality constraints for peeling-ballooning and kinetic ballooning modes, and combines them to predict the pedestal height and width. EPED usually predicts a single ('H-mode') pedestal solution for each set of input parameters, however, in strongly shaped plasmas above a critical density, multiple pedestal solutions are found, including the standard 'H-mode' solution, and a 'Super H-Mode' solution at substantially larger pedestal height and width. The Super H-mode regime is predicted to be accessible by controlling the trajectory of the density, and to increase fusion performance for ITER, as well as for DEMO designs with strong shaping. A set of experiments on DIII-D has identified the predicted Super H-mode regime, and finds pedestal height and width, and their variation with density, in good agreement with theoretical predictions from the EPED model. The very high pedestal enables operation at high global beta and high confinement, including the highest normalized beta achieved on DIII-D with a quiescent edge.

    Research areas

  • EPED, fusion performance, pedestal, pedestal height, Super H-Mode, theoretical predictions, tokamak

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