Cascades of Parametric Instabilities in the Tokamak Plasma Edge during Electron Cyclotron Resonance Heating

A. Clod, M. G. Senstius, A. H. Nielsen, R. Ragona, A. S. Thrysøe, U. Kumar, S. Coda, S. K. Nielsen

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Abstract

We report observations of nonlinear two-plasmon decay instabilities (TPDIs) of a high-power microwave beam, a process similar to half-harmonic generation in optics, during electron cyclotron resonance heating in a tokamak. TPDIs are found to occur regularly in the plasma edge due to wave trapping in density fluctuations for various confinement modes, and the frequencies of both observed daughter waves agree with modeling. Emissions from a cascade of subsequent decays, which indicate a generation of ion Bernstein waves, are correlated with fast-ion generation. This emphasizes the limitations of standard linear microwave propagation models and possibly paves the way for novel microwave applications in plasmas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume132
Issue number13
Number of pages6
ISSN0031-9007
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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