This paper summarizes the physical principles behind the novel three-ion scenarios using radio frequency waves in the ion cyclotron range of frequencies (ICRF). We discuss how to transform mode conversion electron heating into a new flexible ICRF technique for ion cyclotron heating and fast-ion generation in multi-ion species plasmas. The theoretical section provides practical recipes for selecting the plasma composition to realize three-ion ICRF scenarios, including two equivalent possibilities for the choice of resonant absorbers that have been identified. The theoretical findings have been convincingly confirmed by the proof-of-principle experiments in mixed H-D plasmas on the Alcator C-Mod and JET tokamaks, using thermal 3He and fast D ions from neutral beam injection as resonant absorbers. Since 2018, significant progress has been made on the ASDEX Upgrade and JET tokamaks in H-4He and H-D plasmas, guided by the ITER needs. Furthermore, the scenario was also successfully applied in JET D-3He plasmas as a technique to generate fusion-born alpha particles and study effects of fast ions on plasma confinement under ITER-relevant plasma heating conditions. Tuned for the central deposition of ICRF power in a small region in the plasma core of large devices such as JET, three-ion ICRF scenarios are efficient in generating large populations of passing fast ions and modifying the q-profile. Recent experimental and modeling developments have expanded the use of three-ion scenarios from dedicated ICRF studies to a flexible tool with a broad range of different applications in fusion research.
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The authors are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments that allowed us to improve the paper, I. Voitsekhovitch for her valuable comments and suggestions during the paper preparation, and to H. Meyer and J. Faustin for fruitful discussions. We thank the ITPA Energetic Particle Physics Topical Group for its support. This work has been carried out within the framework of the EUROfusion Consortium and has received funding from the Euratom research and training programme 2014–2018 and 2019–2020 under Grant Agreement No. 633053. The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the European Commission. Part of this work was also carried out in the framework of projects done for the ITER Scientist Fellow Network (ISFN).
© 2021 Author(s).