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Separating divertor closure effects on divertor detachment and pedestal shape in DIII-D...

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Physics of Plasmas
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Comparison between an open divertor and a more-closed divertor in DIII-D demonstrates detachment up to 40% lower pedestal density (ne,ped) in the closed divertor due to a combination of decreased fueling of the pedestal and increased dissipation in the scrape off layer (SOL) in the closed divertor, both resulting from increased neutral trapping in the divertor. Predicting whether the relationship between divertor closure and detachment will hold for an opaque SOL, in which the contribution of ionizing neutrals to fueling the pedestal is lessened, requires separating out different mechanisms contributing to the density difference at detachment. A series of experiments on DIII-D characterizes matched discharges using various divertor configurations to isolate the effects of divertor closure. These experiments show detachment up to 25% lower ne,sep in the closed divertor than in the open divertor, supported by simulations showing increased neutral trapping, and hence, increased dissipation, in the closed divertor. A difference in ne,ped/ne,sep is also seen: for matched ne,sep, the closed divertor has up to 20% lower ne,ped, consistent with modeling showing a smaller ionization fraction inside the separatrix in this case. Understanding how these pieces fit together will help in the development of predictive models of pedestal density and detached divertors compatible with a high performance core.