Infoscience

Journal article

Toroidal Universal Drift Instability: A Global Gyrokinetic Study

An electron density gradient driven instability identified as the toroidal branch of the universal drift instability is studied using a global gyrokinetic model treating both electrons and ions fully nonadiabatically and valid at all orders in the ratio of the Larmor radius to the wavelength. The physics of the magnetic drift resonance, Landau resonance and transit resonance, which are considered to be important for the toroidal universal mode, are kept for both species. A systematic parametric study is carried out for the mode. The toroidal universal drift mode is observed to sustain finite temperature gradient and can thus coexist with the temperature gradient driven modes and may contribute to the observed particle transport along with other drift modes. Especially at intermediate scales between the ion temperature gradient driven mode and electron temperature gradient driven mode, this branch of the drift instability can also be a plausible candidate for the observed particle loss. The effect of magnetic fluctuations on the mode is also investigated. In contrast to the slab mode, the toroidal branch of the universal drift mode is found to be strongly stabilized by electromagnetic effects at finite plasma beta. Finally, the effect of trapped electrons on the universal mode is studied and compared with the other possible modes in the same parameter regime, namely, ion temperature gradient mode in the presence of trapped electrons and pure trapped electron modes.

Related material