Determination of the characteristic magnetic pre-sheath length at divertor surfaces using micro-engineered targets on DiMES at DIII-D

S. Abe, C. H. Skinner, I. Bykov, Y. W. Yeh, A. Lasa, J. Coburn, D. L. Rudakov, C. J. Lasnier, H. Q. Wang, A. G. McLean, T. Abrams, B. E. Koel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The magnetic pre-sheath (MPS) length, L MPS, is a critical parameter to define the sheath potential, which controls the ion trajectory of low-Z species (D, T, He, and C), as well as the prompt re-deposition of high-Z species. To determine L MPS, we fabricated micro-trenches (30 × 30 × 4 μm) via focused ion beam milling on a silicon surface and exposed them to L-mode deuterium plasmas in DIII-D via the divertor material evaluation system (DiMES) removable sample exposure probe. The areal distribution of impurity depositions, mainly consisting of carbon, was measured by energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) to reveal the deuterium ion shadowing effect on the trench floors. The carbon deposition profiles showed that the erosion was maximized for the azimuthal direction of φ = -40° (referenced to the toroidal magnetic field direction) as well as the polar angle of θ = 80°. A Monte Carlo equation-of-motion (EOM) model, based on a collisionless MPS, was used to calculate the azimuthal and polar deuterium ion angle distributions (IADs) at the surface for a range of L MPS = k × ρ i, where ρ i is the ion gyro radius and k = 0.5-4. Then, gross erosion profiles were calculated by a Monte Carlo micro-patterning and roughness (MPR) code for ion sputtering using as input the calculated azimuthal and polar IADs for each value of k. Good agreement with the experimental C deposition profiles was obtained for the case k = 2.5-3.5. This result is consistent with a previous kinetic modeling prediction of k ∼3, as well as previous analytical investigations that predicted the L MPS to be several ion gyro radii. A validation of theoretical sheath models supports its applicability to ITER and pilot plant divertors to successfully predict plasma-materials interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number066001
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • Chodura sheath
  • divertor
  • erosion
  • ion angle distribution
  • plasma-material interaction
  • sheath
  • surface analysis


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