Analysis of drift effects on the tokamak power scrape-off width using SOLPS-ITER

E. T. Meier, Robert James Goldston, E. G. Kaveeva, M. A. Makowski, S. Mordijck, V. A. Rozhansky, I. Yu Senichenkov, S. P. Voskoboynikov

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SOLPS-ITER, a comprehensive 2D scrape-off layer modeling package, is used to examine the physical mechanisms that set the scrape-off width (λq) for inter-ELM power exhaust. Guided by Goldstons heuristic drift (HD) model, which shows remarkable quantitative agreement with experimental data, this research examines drift effects on λq in a DIII-D H-mode magnetic equilibrium. As a numerical expedient, a low target recycling coefficient of 0.9 is used in the simulations, resulting in outer target plasma that is sheath limited instead of conduction limited as in the experiment. Scrape-off layer (SOL) particle diffusivity (DSOL) is scanned from 1 to 0.1 m2 s?1. Across this diffusivity range, outer divertor heat flux is dominated by a narrow (∼3-4 mm when mapped to the outer midplane) electron convection channel associated with thermoelectric current through the SOL from outer to inner divertor. An order-unity up-down ion pressure asymmetry allows net ion drift flux across the separatrix, facilitated by an artificial mechanism that mimics the anomalous electron transport required for overall ambipolarity in the HD model. At DSOL = 0.1 m2 s?1, the density fall-off length is similar to the electron temperature fall-off length, as predicted by the HD model and as seen experimentally. This research represents a step toward a deeper understanding of the power scrape-off width, and serves as a basis for extending fluid modeling to more experimentally relevant, high-collisionality regimes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number125012
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 2 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • heuristic drift model
  • plasma drifts
  • power scrape-off width


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