Dynamics of L-H transition and I-phase in EAST

G. S. Xu, H. Q. Wang, M. Xu, B. N. Wan, H. Y. Guo, P. H. Diamond, G. R. Tynan, R. Chen, Ning Yan, D. F. Kong, H. L. Zhao, A. D. Liu, T. Lan, Volker Naulin, Anders Henry Nielsen, Jens Juul Rasmussen, K. Miki, P. Manz, W. Zhang, L. WangL. M. Shao, S. C. Liu, Leifeng Chen, S. Y. Ding, N. Zhao, Y. L. Li, Y. L. Liu, G. H. Hu, X. Q. Wu, X. Z. Gong

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The turbulence and flows at the plasma edge during the L-I-H, L-I-L and single-step L-H transitions have been measured directly using two reciprocating Langmuir probe systems at the outer midplane with several newly designed probe arrays in the EAST superconducting tokamak. The E × B velocity, turbulence level and turbulent Reynolds stress at ~1 cm inside the separatrix ramp-up in the last ~20 ms preceding the single-step L-H transition, but remain nearly constant near the separatrix, indicating an increase in the radial gradients at the plasma edge. The kinetic energy transfer rate from the edge turbulence to the E × B flows is significantly enhanced only in the last ~10 ms and peaks just prior to the L-H transition. The E × B velocity measured inside the separatrix, which is typically in the electron diamagnetic drift direction in the L-mode, decays towards the ion diamagnetic drift direction in response to fluctuation suppression at the onset of the single-step L-H, L-I-L as well as L-I-H transitions. One important distinction between the L-I-H and the L-I-L transitions has been observed, with respect to the evolution of the edge pressure gradient and mean E × B flow during the I-phase. Both of them ramp up gradually during the L-I-H transition, but change little during the L-I-L transition, which may indicate that a gradual buildup of the edge pedestal and mean E × B flow during the I-phase leads to the final transition into the H-mode. In addition, the transition data in EAST strongly suggest that the divertor pumping capability is an important ingredient in determining the transition behaviour and power threshold.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)103002
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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