Simulations of the edge plasma: the role of atomic, molecular and surface physics
Paper in proceedings, 2009
Atomic, molecular and surface physics plays an important role in simulations of the edge plasma in present day tokamaks, and in the predictive simulations of new devices. The edge plasma-in this context, the Scrape-Off Layer (SOL), the Private Flux Region (PFR) and core region close to the separatrix (or Last Closed Flux Surface, LCFS)-provides the boundary conditions for the main plasma, and is the region where much of the power and all of the particle exhaust occurs. It is also the region where the plasma interacts with solid surfaces, puffed gases and gas arising from recycling. The results of plasma edge simulations can depend strongly on the availability and quality of the atomic, molecular and surface data (the peak plasma temperature at the divertor was found to vary by a factor of five dependent on the choice of atomic physics data in a recent sensitivity analysis). The current material choice for ITER with Plasma Facing Components (PFCs) consisting of C, Be and W also presents challenges, both in the availability of the necessary data for W, and in the plethora of charge states for W. Another challenge presented by the material choice is the likely presence of mixed materials formed by the migration of material from one surface to another. These introduce effects like alloying and preferential sputtering as well as new (much longer) time-scales in the problem. Efforts to incorporate a bundled charge state model within one of the present edge simulation codes, SOLPS, will he described, as well as efforts to address some of the questions raised by mixed materials. Some issues related to data consistency and traceability within the context of the European effort on Integrated Tokamak Modelling will also be addressed.