Formation of a three-dimensional plasma boundary after decay of the plasma response to resonant magnetic perturbation fields
First time experimental evidence is presented for a direct link between the decay of a n = 3 plasma response and the formation of a three-dimensional (3D) plasma boundary. We inspect a lower single-null L-mode plasma which first reacts at sufficiently high rotation with an ideal resonant screening response to an external toroidal mode number n = 3 resonant magnetic perturbation field. Decay of this response due to reduced bulk plasma rotation changes the plasma state considerably. Signatures such as density pump out and a spin up of the edge rotation-which are usually connected to formation of a stochastic boundary-are detected. Coincident, striation of the divertor single ionized carbon emission and a 3D emission structure in double ionized carbon at the separatrix is seen. The striated C II pattern follows in this stage the perturbed magnetic footprint modelled without a plasma response (vacuum approach). This provides for the first time substantial experimental evidence, that a 3D plasma boundary with direct impact on the divertor particle flux pattern is formed as soon as the internal plasma response decays. The resulting divertor structure follows the vacuum modelled magnetic field topology. However, the inward extension of the perturbed boundary layer can still not directly be determined from these measurements.