3rd harmonic ECRH absorption enhancement by 2nd harmonic heating at the same frequency in a tokamak
The fundamental mechanisms responsible for the interplay and synergy between the absorption dynamics of extraordinary-mode electron cyclotron waves at two different harmonic resonances (the 2nd and 3rd) are investigated in the TCV tokamak. An enhanced 3rd harmonic absorption in the presence of suprathermal electrons generated by 2nd harmonic heating is predicted by Fokker-Planck simulations, subject to complex alignment requirements in both physical space and momentum space. The experimental signature for the 2nd/3rd harmonic synergy is sought through the suprathermal bremsstrahlung emission in the hard x-ray range of photon energy. Using a synthetic diagnostic, the emission variation due to synergy is calculated as a function of the injected power and of the radial transport of suprathermal electrons. It is concluded that in the present experimental setup a synergy signature has not been unambiguously detected. The detectability of the synergy is then discussed with respect to variations and uncertainties in the plasma density and effective charge in view of future optimized experiments.