Dust in magnetized plasmas

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Physics


Dusty plasmas are ubiquitous: they occur naturally, in fusion, in industry, and as the subject of special laboratory experiments. Magnetic fields can be present in all these areas, but in spite of this, our understanding of the basic dust-plasma physics in the presence of a magnetic field is far from complete.
An improved understanding of magnetized dusty plasmas is particularly important for fusion. In the last few years dust has been recognised as a critical issue for ITER. Solid particles can enter the plasma from the walls or divertor. It is vital to be able to predict the fate of such particles. If they enter the core plasma they rapidly evaporate, thus depositing impurities which can compromise the fusion performance. On the other hand, those which leave the plasma can give rise to serious operational and health and safety problems.
We propose a collaborative and unified programme of theoretical, computational and experimental work on dust in magnetized plasmas, involving Imperial College and the Universities of Liverpool, York. Although the main emphasis is on fusion applications, the work would benefit other areas, for instance the industrial plasma community.
The proposed research covers three overlapping areas: (1) the effect of magnetic fields on the basic dust-plasma interaction, (2) the interaction of dust with magnetically driven filaments, particularly in the tokamak edge, and, (3) improved tokamak dust transport simulations. As part of the project a new high magnetic field dusty plasma experimental facility will be set up at Liverpool.


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Dudson B (2017) Hermes: global plasma edge fluid turbulence simulations in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

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Leddy J (2017) Intrinsic suppression of turbulence in linear plasma devices in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

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Schwörer D (2019) Influence of plasma background on 3D scrape-off layer filaments in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion

Description We have studied turbulence in plasma devices, which is important for predicting how heat and particles are moved around inside high temperature fusion devices. Through experiments and simulations we have made and tested predictions of when plasma becomes turbulent. We have discovered that plasma turbulence is strongly suppressed in expanding magnetic fields, a result which may be important for future experiments. We have developed state-of-the-art models for magnetised plasmas, such as tokamak fusion devices. The enable us to calculate the properties of plasmas to help understand experiments, and to make predictions for machines currently being built. We are currently applying this model to the UK flagship MAST-Upgrade, currently being built at CCFE.
Exploitation Route All code an inputs are publicly available on github (https://github.com/boutproject/hermes). Details of the code have also been published in journals and presented at conferences.
Sectors Energy

Description Please see the impact description provided for EP/M002721/1
Description CRPP - Theory 
Organisation Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL)
Country Switzerland 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We jointly bid for EUROfusion funding, and carried out a project to validate our respective turbulence simulation codes.
Collaborator Contribution CRPP share many of our interests in developing state-of-the art simulations of tokamak edge turbulence, in order to understand current experiments and predict future experiments. During this year they have provided expertise in a validation technique (MMS), and hosted coordination meetings.
Impact A paper will appear shortly on validation activities in 2014, and we have made another joint bid for EUROfusion funding to continue our successful collaboration.
Start Year 2013
Description Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 
Organisation Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Travel to LLNL supported by EURATOM, providing expertise in the development of BOUT++
Collaborator Contribution The group at LLNL includes several very experienced and talented physicists, who have contributed insight and ideas to the partnership which have greatly increased its scientific impact.
Impact The BOUT++ code is one of the leading tools for the study of the edge region of tokamak plasmas, and has been developed as a collaboration between the University of York and LLNL.
Start Year 2006
Title Hermes 
Description Hermes is a plasma transport and turbulence modelling code. It includes effects which govern the global structure of the plasma, such as realistic geometry and neutral gas interactions, as well as small-scale turbulence. It is aimed at fully self-consistent simulations of turbulence and transport in current and future magnetised plasma fusion devices. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2016 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact The development and initial results were reported at an invited talk to the Joint Varenna-Lausanne international workshop on the theory of fusion plasmas. 
URL https://github.com/boutproject/hermes
Description Invited talk at Varenna-Lausanne 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An invited talk to the Joint Varenna-Lausanne International Workshop on Theory of Fusion Plasmas, Varenna Italy. This is a relatively small but high profile meeting. I presented work on this grant, including development and application of the Hermes computational model.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://varenna-lausanne.epfl.ch/Varenna2016/
Description KSTAR conference 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I gave an invited talk to this conference in Korea, covering work on this grant amongst other topics. The aim was to build links to the South Korean fusion programme. In negotiations we have identified several promising areas of mutual interest and benefit, and made concrete plans to take these forward.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://kstar.plani.co.kr/con_home_2018