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Progress in the Development of a High Power Helicon Plasma Source for the Materials Plasma Exposure Experiment...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Journal Name
Fusion Science and Technology
Publication Date
Page Numbers
588 to 594
Conference Name
22nd Topical Meeting on the Technology of Fusion Energy (TOFE 2016)
Conference Location
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
American Nuclear Society
Conference Date

Proto-MPEX is a linear plasma device being used to study a novel RF source concept for the planned Material Plasma Exposure eXperiment (MPEX), which will address plasma-materials interaction (PMI) for nuclear fusion reactors. Plasmas are produced using a large diameter helicon source operating at a frequency of 13.56 MHz at power levels up to 120 kW. In recent experiments the helicon source has produced deuterium plasmas with densities up to ~6 × 1019 m–3 measured at a location 2 m downstream from the antenna and 0.4 m from the target. Previous plasma production experiments on Proto-MPEX have generated lower density plasmas with hollow electron temperature profiles and target power deposition peaked far off axis. The latest experiments have produced flat Te profiles with a large portion of the power deposited on the target near the axis. This and other evidence points to the excitation of a helicon mode in this case.