Starting in July 2015: Early Career Award of the Department of Energy
Title: “Plasma Material Interaction with Three-Dimensional Boundaries”
Official Announcement: http://science.energy.gov/early-career
The quest to understand the interaction of a high temperature plasma and its surrounding material surfaces is one of the key challenges on the path to harness fusion power as a new, fundamental energy source. This challenge typically involves the goal of achieving high density, low temperature (detached) plasmas close to magnetic field divertor target plates as well as understanding the plasma material interactions (PMI) in this regime. This area of research involves studying physical processes at spatial scales from nanometers to meters in all states of matter and across a broad range of energies.
New modeling capabilities, which help interpret data from current experiments and enable extrapolation to future devices, are required. This is particularly true for toroidal magnetic confinement devices with three?dimensional (3D) plasma boundaries such as tokamak devices when perturbing external magnetic fields are applied and for stellarators with an inherent 3D plasma configuration.
The goal of this research is to examine and assess the impact of 3D plasma boundaries on PMI in combination with detached plasma regimes. A critical element will be to experimentally identify critical common and unique features of 3D boundaries as compared to axisymmetric edge plasmas. Establishing a numerical toolset to support the development of predictive capabilities for these regimes is the intended key outcome of the research project. The complexity of this scientific endeavor requires a broad approach, and this research effort will help establish a solid basis to advance understanding in this area.
Personnel: Prof. Oliver Schmitz, Dr. E. Hinson, Dr. H. Frerichs, BSc Aysia Demby