Improved confinement in high-density H-modes via modification of the plasma boundary with lower hybrid waves
Injecting Lower Hybrid Range of Frequency (LHRF) waves into Alcator C-Mod's high-density H-mode plasmas has led to enhanced global energy confinement by increasing pedestal temperature and pressure gradients, decreasing the separatrix density, modifying the pedestal radial electric field and rotation, and decreasing edge turbulence. These experiments indicate that edge LHRF can be used as an actuator to increase energy confinement via modification of boundary quantities. H-98-factor increases of up to similar to 35% (e.g., H-98 from 0.75 to 1.0) are seen when moderate amounts of LH power (P-LH/P-tot similar to 0.15) are applied to H-modes of densities (n) over tilde (e) similar to 3 x 10(20) m(-3), corresponding to values similar to 0.5 of the Greenwald density. However, the magnitude of the improvement is reduced if the confinement quality of the target H-mode plasma is already good (i.e., H-98(target) similar to 1). Ray-tracing modeling and accessibility calculations for the LH waves indicate that they do not penetrate to the core. The LHRF power appears to be deposited in plasma boundary region, with a large fraction of the injected power increment appearing promptly on the outer divertor target. There is no evidence that the LH waves are driving current in these plasmas. The LHRF-actuated improvements are well correlated with suppressed pedestal density fluctuations in the 100-300 kHz range. There is also a correlation between the improved confinement and a drop in separatrix density, a correlation that is consistent with previous H-mode results with no LHRF. (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.