Effects of LHRF on toroidal rotation in Alcator C-Mod plasmas

Application of lower hybrid range of frequencies (LHRF) waves can induce both co- and counter-current directed changes in toroidal rotation in Alcator C-Mod plasmas, depending on the target plasma current, electron density, confinement regime and magnetic shear. For ohmic L-mode discharges with good core LH wave absorption, and significant current drive at a fixed LH power near 0.8 MW, the interior (r/a < 0.5) rotation increments (on a time scale of order the current relaxation time) in the counter-current direction if ne(10^20 m−3) > q95/11.5, and in the co-current direction if ne(10^20 m−3) < q95/11.5. All discharges with co-current rotation changes have q0 > 1, indicating a good correlation with driven current fraction, unifying the results observed on various tokamaks. For high density (ne >= 1.2 × 10^20 m−3) L-mode target discharges, where core LH wave absorption is low, the rotation change is in the co-current direction, but evolves on a shorter momentum transport time scale, and is seen across the entire spatial profile. For H-mode target plasmas, both co- and counter-current direction increments have been observed with LHRF. The H-mode co-rotation is correlated with the pedestal temperature gradient, which itself is enhanced by the LH waves absorbed in the plasma periphery. The H-mode counter-rotation increment, a flattening of the peaked velocity profile in the core, is consistent with a reduction in the momentum pinch correlated with a steepening of the core density profile. Most of these rotation changes must be due to indirect transport effects of LH waves on various parameters, which modify the momentum flux.

Published in:
Nuclear Fusion, 53, 093015

 Record created 2017-09-30, last modified 2019-02-28

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