Isotope mass and charge effects in tokamak plasmas
Journal article, 2011
The effect of primary ion species of differing charge and mass - specifically, deuterium, hydrogen, and helium - on instabilities and transport is studied in DIII-D plasmas through gyrokinetic simulations with GYRO [J. Candy and E. Belli, General Atomics Technical Report No. GA-A26818, 2010]. In linear simulations under imposed similarity of the profiles, there is an isomorphism between the linear growth rates of hydrogen isotopes, but the growth rates are higher for Z > 1 main ions due to the appearance of the charge in the Poisson equation. On ion scales the most significant effect of the different electron-to-ion mass ratio appears through collisions stabilizing trapped electron modes. In nonlinear simulations, significant favorable deviations from pure gyro-Bohm scaling are found due to electron-to-ion mass ratio effects and collisions. The presence of any non-trace impurity species cannot be neglected in a comprehensive simulation of the transport; including carbon impurity in the simulations caused a dramatic reduction of energy fluxes. The transport in the analyzed deuterium and helium discharges could be well reproduced in gyrokinetic and gyrofluid simulations while the significant hydrogen discrepancy is the subject of ongoing investigation.