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Plasma Sci. Technol.  
  Plasma Sci. Technol.--2017, 19 (12)   Published: 07 November 2017
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Geodesic acoustic mode in a reduced two-fluid model

Haijun REN (任海骏)
Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 122001 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa936f
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A reduced two-fluid model is constructed to investigate the geodesic acoustic mode (GAM). The ion dynamics is sufficiently considered by including an anisotropic pressure tensor and inhibited heat flux vector, whose evolutions are determined by equations derived from the 16-momentum model. Electrons are supposed to obey the Boltzmann distribution responding to the electrostatic oscillation with near ion acoustic velocity. In the large safety factor limit, the GAM frequency is identical with the kinetic one to the order of 1/ q2 when zeroing the anisotropy. For general anisotropy, the reduced two-fluid model generates the frequency agreeing well with the kinetic result with arbitrary electron temperature. The present simplified fluid model will be of great use and interest for young researchers and students devoted to plasma physics.

Basic Plasma Phenomena

Monte-Carlo simulation of a stochastic differential equation

Arif ULLAH1, Majid KHAN 2,3,M KAMRAN 4, et al.
Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125001 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa8f3f
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For solving higher dimensional diffusion equations with an inhomogeneous diffusion coefficient, Monte Carlo (MC) techniques are considered to be more effective than other algorithms, such as finite element method or finite difference method. The inhomogeneity of diffusion coefficient strongly limits the use of different numerical techniques. For better convergence, methods with higher orders have been kept forward to allow MC codes with large step size. The main focus of this work is to look for operators that can produce converging results for large step sizes. As a first step, our comparative analysis has been applied to a general stochastic problem. Subsequently, our formulization is applied to the problem of pitch angle scattering resulting from Coulomb collisions of charge particles in the toroidal devices.

Magnetically Confined Plasma

Analysis of electron temperature, impurity transport and MHD activity with multi-energy soft x-ray diagnostic in EAST tokamak

Heng LAN (兰恒)1,2, Guosheng XU (徐国盛)1, Kevin TRITZ3, et al.
Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125101 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa8cbf
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A new edge tangential multi-energy soft x-ray (ME-SXR) diagnostic with high temporal (≤ 0.1 ms) and spatial (~1cm) resolution has been developed for a variety of physics topics studies in the EAST tokamak plasma. The fast edge electron temperature profile (approximately from r/ a ~0.6 to the scrape-off layer) is investigated using ME-SXR diagnostic system. The data process was performed by the ideal ‘multi-foil’ technique, with no priori assumptions of plasma profiles. Reconstructed ME-SXR emissivity profiles for a variety of EAST experimental scenarios are presented here for the first time. The applications of the ME-SXR for study of the effects of resonant magnetic perturbation on edge localized modes and the first time neon radiating divertor experiment in EAST are also presented in this work. It has been found that neon impurity can suppress the 2/1 tearing mode and trigger a 3/1 MHD mode.

The first results of deuterium retention on EAST with a full graphite wall via particle balance

Bin CAO (曹斌), Jiangang LI (李建刚), Jianshen HU (胡建生), et al.
Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125102 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa8a5f
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This paper introduces the first results of deuterium retention on the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) using particle balance. In the fall 2010 EAST experiments with a full graphite wall, the average deuterium retention fraction was about 19% (including disruptive shots) and 38% (not including disruptive shots). Fuel retention for the short-and long-pulse discharge was different. The H-mode discharges had a slightly lower fuel retention than the L-mode discharges. However, it was observed that disruptions introduced outgassing from the wall. Wall conditioning, such as lithium coating, increases retention.

Astrophysics and Space Plasma

Experimental and analytical investigation on metal damage suffered from simulated lightning currents

Yakun LIU (刘亚坤)1, Zhengcai FU (傅正财)1, Quanzhen LIU (刘全桢)2, et al.
Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125301 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa8aca
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The damage of two typical metal materials, Al alloy 3003 and steel alloy Q235B, subjected to four representative lightning current components are investigated by laboratory and analytical studies to provide fundamental data for lightning protection. The four lightning components simulating the natural lightning consist of the first return stroke, the continuing current of interval stroke, the long continuing current, and the subsequent stroke, with amplitudes 200 kA, 8 kA, 400 A, and 100 kA, respectively. The damage depth and area suffered from different lightning components are measured by the ultrasonic scanning system. And the temperature rise is measured by the thermal imaging camera. The results show that, for both Al 3003 and steel Q235B, the first return stroke component results in the largest damage area with damage depth 0.02 mm uttermost. The long continuing current component leads to the deepest damage depth of 3.3 mm for Al 3003 and much higher temperature rise than other components. The correlation analysis between damage results and lightning parameters indicates that the damage depth has a positive correlation with charge transfer. The damage area is mainly determined by the current amplitude and the temperature rise increases linearly with the charge transfer larger.

Solitary kinetic Alfvén waves in a dense electron–positron–ion plasma with degenerate electrons and positrons

Monzurul K AHMED and Om P SAH
Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125302 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa8765
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Through the use of a reductive perturbation technique, solitary kinetic Alfvén waves (KAWs) are investigated in a low but finite β (particle-to-magnetic pressure ratio) dense electron–positron–ion plasma where electrons and positrons are degenerate. The degenerate plasma model considered here permits the existence of sub-Alfvénic compressive solitary KAWs. The influence of r (equilibrium positron-to-ion density ratio), σF (electron-to-positron Fermi temperature ratio), β and obliqueness parameter lz on various characteristics of solitary KAWs are examined through numerical plots. We have shown that there exists a critical value of lz at which a soliton width attains its maximum value which decreases with an increase in r and σF. It is also found that solitons with a higher energy propagate more obliquely in the direction of an ambient magnetic field. The results of the present investigation may be useful for understanding low frequency nonlinear electromagnetic wave propagation in magnetized electron–positron–ion plasmas in dense stars. Specifically, the relevance of our investigation to a pulsar magnetosphere is emphasized.

Altitude and intensity characteristics of parametric instability excited by an HF pump wave near the fifth electron harmonic

Jun WU (吴军)1, Jian WU (吴健)1, M T RIETVELD2,3, et al.
Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125303 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa9027
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An ionospheric heating experiment involving an O mode pump wave was carried out at European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association site in Tromsø. The observation of the ultra high frequency radar illustrates the systematic variations of the enhanced ion line and plasma line in altitude and intensity as a function of the pump frequency. The analysis shows that those altitude variations are due to the thermal effect, and the intensity variations of the enhanced ion line are dependent on whether or not the enhanced ion acoustic wave satisfy the Bragg condition of radar. Moreover, a prediction that if the enhancement in electron temperature is suppressed, those systematic variations will be absent, is given.

Calculating the electron temperature in the lightning channel by continuous spectrum

Xiangcheng DONG (董向成)1, Jianhong CHEN (陈建宏)1,Xiufang WEI (魏秀芳)1, et al.
Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125304 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa8acb
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Based on the theory of plasma continuous radiation, the relationship between the emission intensity of bremsstrahlung and recombination radiation and the plasma electron temperature is obtained. During the development process of a return stroke of ground flash, the intensity of continuous radiation spectrum is separated on the basis of the spectrums with obviously different luminous intensity at two moments. The electron temperature of the lightning discharge channel is obtained through the curve fitting of the continuous spectrum intensity. It is found that electron temperature increases with the increase of wavelength and begins to reduce after the peak. The peak temperature of the two spectra is close to 25 000 K. To be compared with the result of discrete spectrum, the electron temperature is fitted by the O I line and N II line of the spectrum respectively. The comparison shows that the high temperature value is in good agreement with the temperature of the lightning core current channel obtained from the ion line information, and the low temperature at the high band closes to the calculation result of the atomic line, at a low band is lower than the calculation of the atomic line, which re?ects the temperature of the luminous channel of the outer corona.

Low Temperature Plasma

Atmospheric air dielectric barrier discharge excited by nanosecond pulse and AC used for improving the hydrophilicity of aramid fibers

Hao YUAN (袁皓), Wenchun WANG (王文春), Dezheng YANG (杨德正), et al.
Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125401 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa8766
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In this paper, a long line-shape dielectric barrier discharge excited by a nanosecond pulse and AC is generated in atmospheric air for the purpose of discussing the uniformity, stability and ability of aramid fiber treatment. The discharge images, waveforms of current and voltage, optical emission spectra, and gas temperatures of both discharges are compared. It is found that nanosecond pulsed discharge has a more uniform discharge morphology, higher energy efficiency and lower gas temperature, which indicates that nanosecond pulsed discharge is more suitable for surface modification. To reduce the water contact angle from 96° to about 60°, the energy cost is only about 1/7 compared with AC discharge. Scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy are employed to understand the mechanisms of hydrophilicity improvement.

OH and O radicals production in atmospheric pressure air/Ar/H2O gliding arc discharge plasma jet Hot!

Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125402 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa86a7
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Atmospheric pressure air/Ar/H2O gliding arc discharge plasma is produced by a pulsed dc power supply. An optical emission spectroscopic (OES) diagnostic technique is used for the characterization of plasmas and for identifications of OH and O radicals along with other species in the plasmas. The OES diagnostic technique reveals the excitation Tx ≈5550–9000 K, rotational Tr≈1350–2700 K and gas Tg≈850–1600 K temperatures, and electron density ne ≈(1.1-1.9 )× 1014 cm-3 under different experimental conditions. The production and destruction of OH and O radicals are investigated as functions of applied voltage and air flow rate. Relative intensities of OH and O radicals indicate that their production rates are increased with increasing Ar content in the gas mixture and applied voltage. ne reveals that the higher densities of OH and O radicals are produced in the discharge due to more effective electron impact dissociation of H2O and O2 molecules caused by higher kinetic energies as gained by electrons from the enhanced electric field as well as by enhanced ne. The productions of OH and O are decreasing with increasing air flow rate due to removal of Joule heat from the discharge region but enhanced air flow rate significantly modifies discharge maintenance properties. Besides, Tg significantly reduces with the enhanced air flow rate. This investigation reveals that Ar plays a significant role in the production of OH and O radicals.

Plasma Technology

Influence of sample temperature on the expansion dynamics of laser-induced germanium plasma

Yang LIU (刘杨)1,2, Yue TONG (佟悦)3, Ying WANG (王莹)1,2, et al.
Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125501 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa8acc
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In this paper, we investigated the influence of sample temperature on the expansion dynamics and the optical emission spectroscopy of laser-induced plasma, and Ge was selected as the test sample. The target was heated from room temperature (22 °C) to 300 °C, and excited in atmospheric environment by using a Q-Switched Nd:YAG pulse laser with the wavelength of 1064 nm. To study the plasma expansion dynamics, we observed the plasma plume at different laser energies (5.0, 7.4 and 9.4 mJ) and different sample temperatures by using time-resolved image. We found that the heated target temperature could accelerate the expansion of plasma plume. Moreover, we also measured the effect of target temperature on the optical emission spectroscopy and signal-to-noise ratio.

Experimental study of n-decane decomposition with microsecond pulsed discharge plasma

Feilong SONG (宋飞龙)1,DiJIN (金迪)1,Min JIA (贾敏)1, et al.
Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125502 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa8d12
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A highly-integrated experimental system for the plasma decomposition of fuels was built. Experiments were conducted in a flow reactor at atmospheric pressure and confirmed that n-decane could be cracked by large-gap dielectric barrier discharge under the excitation of a microsecond-pulse power supply. Alkanes and olefins with a C atom number that is smaller than 10 as well as hydrogen were found in the cracked products of n-decane (n-C10H22). The combination of preheating and plasma decomposition had strong selectivity for olefins. Under strong discharge conditions, small molecule olefins were found in the products. Moreover, there was a general tendency that small molecule olefins gradually accounted for higher percentage of products at higher temperature and discharge frequency.

Correlation of III/V semiconductor etch results with physical parameters of high-density reactive plasmas excited by electron cyclotron resonance

Gerhard FRANZ1, Ralf MEYER2 and Markus-Christian AMANN2, et al.
Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125503 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa89e0
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Reactive ion etching is the interaction of reactive plasmas with surfaces. To obtain a detailed understanding of this process, significant properties of reactive composite low-pressure plasmas driven by electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) were investigated and compared with the radial uniformity of the etch rate. The determination of the electronic properties of chlorine-and hydrogen-containing plasmas enabled the understanding of the pressure-dependent behavior of the plasma density and provided better insights into the electronic parameters of reactive etch gases. From the electrical evaluation of I(V ) characteristics obtained using a Langmuir probe, plasmas of different compositions were investigated. The standard method of Druyvesteyn to derive the electron energy distribution functions by the second derivative of the I(V ) characteristics was replaced by a mathematical model which has been evolved to be more robust against noise, mainly, because the first derivative of the I(V ) characteristics is used. Special attention was given to the power of the energy dependence in the exponent. In particular, for plasmas that are generated by ECR with EM modes, the existence of Maxwellian distribution functions is not to be taken as a self-evident fact, but the bi-Maxwellian distribution was proven for Ar-and Kr-stabilized plasmas. In addition to the electron temperature, the global uniform discharge model has been shown to be useful for calculating the neutral gas temperature. To what extent the invasive method of using a Langmuir probe could be replaced with the non-invasive optical method of emission spectroscopy, particularly actinometry, was investigated, and the resulting data exhibited the same relative behavior as the Langmuir data. The correlation with etchrate data reveals the large chemical part of the removal process—most striking when the data is compared with etching in pure argon. Although the relative amount of the radial variation of plasma density and etch rate is approximately ±5%, the etch rate shows a slightly concave shape in contrast to the plasma density.

Optical properties of titanium oxide films obtained by cathodic arc plasma deposition

Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125504 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa8806
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Structural and optical properties of nanometric titanium oxide (TixOy) films obtained by cathodic arc plasma deposition were investigated. Phase analysis by x-ray diffraction and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy showed the presence of anatase, rutile, Ti2O3,Ti4O7 and amorphous phases. Scanning electron microscopy images showed well-developed surface morphology with nano-patterns. Spectroscopic ellipsometry revealed film thicknesses of 53 and 50 nm, variable refractive indices dependent on the light wavelength and close to zero extinction coefficients for wavelengths higher than 500 nm. On the basis of ultraviolet–visible spectroscopy data and using the Tauc equation, band gap values for direct and indirect electron transitions were determined.

Investigation of operating parameters on CO2 splitting by dielectric barrier discharge plasma

Pan CHEN (陈攀), Jun SHEN (沈俊), Tangchun RAN (冉唐春), et al.
Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125505 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa8903
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Experiments of CO2 splitting by dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) plasma were carried out, and the influence of CO flow rate, plasma power, discharge voltage, discharge frequency on CO conversion and process energy efficiency were investigated. It was shown that the absolute quantity of CO decomposed was only proportional to the amount of conductive electrons across the discharge gap, and the electron amount was proportional to the discharge power; the energy efficiency of CO conversion was almost a constant at a lower level, which was limited by CO inherent discharge character that determined a constant gap electric field strength. This was the main reason why CO conversion rate decreased as the CO flow rate increase and process energy efficiency was decreased a little as applied frequency increased. Therefore, one can improve the CO conversion by less feed flow rate or larger discharge power in DBD plasma, but the energy efficiency is difficult to improve.

Fusion Engineering

Optical path design of phase contrast imaging on HL-2A tokamak

Qiyun CHENG (程启耘)1,Yi YU (余羿)1, Shaobo GONG (龚少博)1,2, et al.
Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125601 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa8d64
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A phase contrast imaging (PCI) diagnostic has recently been developed on HL-2A tokamak. It can diagnose plasma density fluctuations with maximum wave number of 15 cm-1 and wave number resolution of 2 cm-1. The time resolution reaches 2 μs. A 10.6 μm CO2 laser is expanded to a beam with a diameter of 30 mm and injected into the plasma as an incident beam, injecting into plasma. The emerging scattered and unscattered beams are contrasted by a phase plate. The ideas of optical path design are presented in this paper, together with the parameters of the main optical components. The whole optical path of PCI is not only carefully designed, but also constructed on HL-2A. First calibration results show the ability of this system to catch plasma turbulence in a wide frequency domain.

Harmonics analysis of the ITER poloidal field converter based on a piecewise method

Xudong WANG (王旭东)1,2, Liuwei XU (许留伟)1,4, Peng FU (傅鹏)1,2, et al.
Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125602 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa86a5
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Poloidal field (PF) converters provide controlled DC voltage and current to PF coils. The many harmonics generated by the PF converter flow into the power grid and seriously affect power systems and electric equipment. Due to the complexity of the system, the traditional integral operation in Fourier analysis is complicated and inaccurate. This paper presents a piecewise method to calculate the harmonics of the ITER PF converter. The relationship between the grid input current and the DC output current of the ITER PF converter is deduced. The grid current is decomposed into the sum of some simple functions. By calculating simple function harmonics based on the piecewise method, the harmonics of the PF converter under different operation modes are obtained. In order to examine the validity of the method, a simulation model is established based on Matlab/ Simulink and a relevant experiment is implemented in the ITER PF integration test platform. Comparative results are given. The calculated results are found to be consistent with simulation and experiment. The piecewise method is proved correct and valid for calculating the system harmonics.

Neutronic investigation and activation calculation for CFETR HCCB blankets

Shuling XU (徐淑玲)1, Mingzhun LEI (雷明准)1,3, Sumei LIU (刘素梅)1, et al.
Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125603 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa8bfe
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The neutronic calculations and activation behavior of the proposed helium cooled ceramic breeder (HCCB) blanket were predicted for the Chinese Fusion Engineering Testing Reactor (CFETR) design model using the MCNP multi-particle transport code and its associated data library. The tritium self-sufficiency behavior of the HCCB blanket was assessed, addressing several important breeding-related arrangements inside the blankets. Two candidate first wall armor materials were considered to obtain a proper tritium breeding ratio (TBR). Presentations of other neutronic characteristics, including neutron flux, neutron-induced damages in terms of the accumulated dpa and helium production were also conducted. Activation, decay heat levels and contact dose rates of the components were calculated to estimate the neutron-induced radioactivity and personnel safety. The results indicate that neutron radiation is efficiently attenuated and slowed down by components placed between the plasma and toroidal field coil. The dominant nuclides and corresponding isotopes in the structural steel were discussed. A radioactivity comparison between pure beryllium and beryllium with specific impurities was also performed. After a millennium cooling time, the decay heat of all the concerned components and materials is less than 1×10−4 kW, and most associated in-vessel components qualify for recycling by remote handling. The results demonstrate that acceptable hands-on recycling and operation still require a further long waiting period to allow the activated products to decay.

Comparative studies for two different orientations of pebble bed in an HCCB blanket

Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125604 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa8807
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The Indian Test Blanket Module (TBM) program in ITER is one of the major steps in its fusion reactor program towards DEMO and the future fusion power reactor vision. Research and development (R&D) is focused on two types of breeding blanket concepts: lead–lithium ceramic breeder (LLCB) and helium-cooled ceramic breeder (HCCB) blanket systems for the DEMO reactor. As part of the ITER-TBM program, the LLCB concept will be tested in one-half of ITER port no. 2, whose materials and technologies will be tested during ITER operation. The HCCB concept is a variant of the solid breeder blanket, which is presently part of our domestic R&D program for DEMO relevant technology development. In the HCCB concept Li2TiO3 and beryllium are used as the tritium breeder and neutron multiplier, respectively, in the form of a packed bed having edge-on configuration with reduced activation ferritic martensitic steel as the structural material. In this paper two design schemes, mainly two different orientations of pebble beds, are discussed. In the current concept (case-1), the ceramic breeder beds are kept horizontal in the toroidal–radial direction. Due to gravity, the pebbles may settle down at the bottom and create a finite gap between the pebbles and the top cooling plate, which will affect the heat transfer between them. In the alternate design concept (case-2), the pebble bed is vertically (poloidal–radial) orientated where the side plates act as cooling plates instead of top and bottom plates. These two design variants are analyzed analytically and 2D thermal-hydraulic simulation studies are carried out with ANSYS, using the heat loads obtained from neutronic calculations. Based on the analysis the performance is compared and details of the thermal and radiative heat transfer studies are also discussed in this paper.

Development of data acquisition and over-current protection systems for a suppressor-grid current with a neutral-beam ion source

Wei LIU (刘伟)1,2, Chundong HU (胡纯栋)1, Sheng LIU (刘胜)1, et al.
Plasma Sci. Technol.. 2017, 19 (12): 125605 ;  doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa8cc1
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Neutral beam injection is one of the effective auxiliary heating methods in magnetic-confinement-fusion experiments. In order to acquire the suppressor-grid current signal and avoid the grid being damaged by overheating, a data acquisition and over-current protection system based on the PXI (PCI eXtensions for Instrumentation) platform has been developed. The system consists of a current sensor, data acquisition module and over-current protection module. In the data acquisition module, the acquired data of one shot will be transferred in isolation and saved in a data-storage server in a txt file. It can also be recalled using NBWave for future analysis. The over-current protection module contains two modes: remote and local. This gives it the function of setting a threshold voltage remotely and locally, and the forbidden time of over-current protection also can be set by a host PC in remote mode. Experimental results demonstrate that the data acquisition and over-current protection system has the advantages of setting forbidden time and isolation transmission.

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