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Helicon plasma ion temperature measurements and observed ion cyclotron heating in proto-MPEX...

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Physics of Plasmas
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The Prototype-Material Plasma Exposure eXperiment (Proto-MPEX) linear plasma device is a test bed for exploring and developing plasma source concepts to be employed in the future steady-state linear device Material Plasma Exposure eXperiment (MPEX) that will study plasma-material interactions for the nuclear fusion program. The concept foresees using a helicon plasma source supplemented with electron and ion heating systems to reach necessary plasma conditions. In this paper, we discuss ion temperature measurements obtained from Doppler broadening of spectral lines from argon ion test particles. Plasmas produced with helicon heating alone have average ion temperatures downstream of the Helicon antenna in the range of 3 ± 1 eV; ion temperature increases to 10 ± 3 eV are observed with the addition of ion cyclotron heating (ICH). The temperatures are higher at the edge than the center of the plasma either with or without ICH. This type of profile is observed with electrons as well. A one-dimensional RF antenna model is used to show where heating of the plasma is expected.