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Experimental Investigation of the Effects of Magnetic Mirrors on Plasma Transport in the Prototype Material Plasma Exposure E...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Journal Name
IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1396 to 1402
Conference Name
28th IEEE Symposium on Fusion Engineering (SOFE)
Conference Location
Ponte Vedra, Florida, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Conference Date

The Prototype Material Plasma Exposure eXperiment (Proto-MPEX) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is developing a helicon radio frequency (RF) source for plasma production along with microwave electron heating and RF ion heating. Proto-MPEX has several magnetic mirrors that affect plasma transport. The magnetic field near the helicon source is ~ 0.05 T, and the peak magnetic field in Proto-MPEX is ~ 1.8 T, which results in a large magnetic well for particles sourced at the helicon transporting toward the target region. Keeping the helicon source field and the target field constant, experiments have been conducted by methodically changing the magnetic field, at a local axial location, within the source and the target. Plasma flow measurements using Mach probes have shown a decrease in the flow as a function of the magnetic mirror ratio. Plasma flows were further investigated with ion cyclotron resonant heating (ICH). Results with the addition of ICH measured upstream of the antenna have shown a decrease in Mach number as a function of mirror ratio when compared to helicon discharges. Such flow behavior demonstrated slowing down of the plasma due to the increased reverse plasma flow toward the helicon plasma source. However, in high magnetic fields, when the resonant magnetic field moved away from the ICH antenna, no effects on the plasma flow due to ICH were observed.