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Contribution of the different erosion processes to material release from the vessel walls of fusion devices during plasma operation

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Behrisch, R. (2002). Contribution of the different erosion processes to material release from the vessel walls of fusion devices during plasma operation. Contributions to Plasma Physics, 42(2-4), 431-444. Retrieved from http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/93012769/PDFSTART.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0027-416E-0
Abstract
In high temperature plasma experiments several processes contribute to erosion and loss of material from the, vessel walls. This material may enter the plasma edge and the central plasma where it acts as impurities. It will finally be re- deposited at other wall areas. These erosion processes are: evaporation due to heating of wall areas. At very high power deposition evaporation may become very large, which has been named "blooming". Large evaporation and melting at some areas of the vessel wall surface may occur during heat pulses, as observed in plasma devices during plasma disruptions. At tips on the vessel walls and/or hot spots on the plasma exposed solid surfaces electrical arcs between the plasma and the vessel wall may ignite. They cause the release of ions, atoms and small metal droplets, or of carbon dust particles. Finally, atoms from the vessel walls are removed by physical and chemical sputtering caused by the bombardment of the vessel walls with ions as well as energetic neutral hydrogen atoms from the boundary plasma. All these processes have been, and are, observed in today's plasma experiments. Evaporation can in principle be controlled by very effective cooling of the wall tiles, arcing is reduced by very stable plasma operation, and sputtering by ions can be reduced by operating with a cold plasma in front of the vessel walls. However, sputtering by energetic neutrals, which impinge on all areas of the vessel walls, is likely to be the most critical process because ions lost from the plasma recycle as neutrals or have to be refuelled by neutrals leading to the charge exchange processes in the plasma. In order to quantify the wall erosion, "Materials Factors" (MF) have been introduced in the following for the different erosion processes.