Final Published Version
Physics of Plasmas
A magnetized plasma cylinder (12 cm in diameter) is induced by an annular shape obstacle at the Large Plasma Device [W. Gekelman, H. Pfister, Z. Lucky, J. Bamber, D. Leneman, and J. Maggs, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 62, 2875 (1991)]. Sheared azimuthal flow is driven at the edge of the plasma cylinder through edge biasing. Strong fluctuations of density and potential (δn/n~eδφ/kTe~0.5) are observed at the plasma edge, accompanied by a large density gradient (Ln=∣∣∇lnn∣∣−1~2cm) and shearing rate (γ~300kHz). Edge turbulence and cross-field transport are modified by changing the bias voltage (Vbias) on the obstacle and the axial magnetic field (Bz) strength. In cases with low Vbias and large Bz, improved plasma confinement is observed, along with steeper edge density gradients. The radially sheared flow induced by E×B drift dramatically changes the cross-phase between density and potential fluctuations, which causes the wave-induced particle flux to reverse its direction across the shear layer. In cases with higher bias voltage or smaller Bz, large radial transport and rapid depletion of the central plasma density are observed. Two-dimensional cross-correlation measurement shows that a mode with azimuthal mode number m=1 and large radial correlation length dominates the outward transport in these cases. Linear analysis based on a two-fluid Braginskii model suggests that the fluctuations are driven by both density gradient (drift wave like) and flow shear (Kelvin-Helmholtz like) at the plasma edge.
© 2012 American Institute of Physics.
S. Zhou, W. W. Heidbrink, H. Boehmer, R. McWilliams, T. A. Carter, S. Vincena, B. Friedman, D. Schaffner. 2012. Sheared-flow induced confinement transition in a linear magnetized plasma. Phys. Plasmas 19, 012116.