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Exploring the effect of ELM and code-coupling frequencies on plasma and material modeling of dynamic recycling in divertors

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Nuclear Fusion
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Integrated modeling of plasma-surface interactions provides a comprehensive and self-consistent description of the system, moving the field closer to developing predictive and design capabilities for plasma facing components. One such workflow, including descriptions for the scrape-off-layer plasma, ion-surface interactions and the sub-surface evolution, was previously used to address steady-state scenarios and has recently been extended to incorporate time-dependence and two-way information flow. The new model can address dynamic recycling in transient scenarios, such as the application presented in this paper: the evolution of W samples pre-damaged by helium and exposed to ELMy H-mode plasmas in the DIII-D DiMES. A first set of simulations explored the effect of ELM frequency. This study was discussed in detail in this conference's proceedings and is summarized here. The 2nd set of simulations, which is the focus of this paper, explores the effect of code-coupling frequency. These simulations include initial SOLPS solutions converged to the inter-ELM state, ion impact energy (Ein) and angles (Ain) calculated by hPIC2, and an improved heat transfer description in Xolotl. The model predicts increases in particle fluxes and decreases in heat fluxes by 10%–20% with the coupling time-step. Compared with the first set of simulations, the less shallow impact angle leads to smaller reflection rates and significant D implantation. The higher fraction of implanted flux (and deeper), in particular during ELMs, increases the accumulated D content in the W near-surface region. Future expansion of the workflow includes coupling to hPIC2 and GITR to ensure accurate descriptions of Ein and Ain, and W impurity transport.