Global approach to the spectral problem of microinstabilities in tokamak plasmas using a gyrokinetic model

Ion temperature gradient (ITG) -related instabilities are studied in tokamak-like plasmas with the help of a new global eigenvalue code. Ions are modeled in the frame of gyrokinetic theory so that finite Larmor radius effects of these particles are retained to all orders. Non-adiabatic trapped electron dynamics is taken into account through the bounce-averaged drift kinetic equation. Assuming electrostatic perturbations, the system is closed with the quasineutrality relation. Practical methods are presented which make this global approach feasible. These include a non-standard wave decomposition compatible with the curved geometry as well as adapting an efficient root finding algorithm for computing the unstable spectrum. These techniques are applied to a low pressure configuration given by a large aspect ratio torus with circular, concentric magnetic surfaces. Simulations from a linear, time evolution, particle in cell code provide a useful benchmark. Comparisons with local ballooning calculations for different parameter scans enable further validation while illustrating the limits of that representation at low toroidal wave numbers or for non-interchange-like instabilities. The stabilizing effect of negative magnetic shear is also considered, in which case the global results show not only an attenuation of the growth rate but also a reduction of the radial extent induced by a transition from the toroidal- to the slab-ITG mode. Contributions of trapped electrons to the ITG instability as well as the possible coupling to the trapped electron mode are clearly brought to the fore.

Vaclavik, Jan
Lausanne, EPFL

 Record created 2005-03-16, last modified 2018-12-05

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