Studying the influence of nitrogen seeding in a detached-like hydrogen plasma by means of numerical simulations

R. Perillo, R. Chandra, G.R.A. Akkermans, W.A.J. Vijvers, W.A.A.D. Graef, I.G.J. Classen, J. van Dijk, M. R. de Baar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The leading candidate for impurity seeding in ITER is currently nitrogen. To date, there have only been a few studies on the plasma chemistry driven by N2/H2 seeding and its effect on the molecular-activated recombination of incoming atomic hydrogen ions in a detached-like scenario. Numerical simulations are needed to provide insights into such mechanisms. The numerous plasma chemical reactions that may occur in such an environment cannot be entirely included in a 2- or 3-dimensional code such as Eirene. A complete global plasma model, implemented with more than 100 plasma chemical equations and 20 species, has been set up on the basis of the Plasimo code. This study shows that two main nitrogen-including recombination reaction paths are dominant, i.e. the ion conversion of NH followed by dissociative recombination, and the proton transfer between and N2, producing N2H+. These two processes are referred to as N-MAR (nitrogen molecular-activated recombination) and have subsequently been implemented in Eunomia, which is a spatially resolved Monte Carlo code designed to simulate the neutral inventory in linear plasma machines such as Pilot-PSI and Magnum-PSI. To study the effect of N2 on the overall recombination, three studies have been set up, and from a defined puffing location with a constant total seeding rate of H2 + N2, three N2 ratios were simulated, i.e. 0%, 5% and 10%. The parameter monitored is the density of atomic hydrogen, being the final hydrogenic product of any recombination mechanism in the scenario considered. The difference in H density between the 0% case and the 10% case is about a factor of three. The importance of NH as an electron donor is highlighted, and the N-MAR reaction routes are confirmed to enhance the conversion of ions to neutrals, making the heat loads to the divertor plate more tolerable. This work is a further step towards a full understanding of the role of N2-H2 molecules in a detached divertor plasma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105004
Number of pages18
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • detachment
  • impurity seeding
  • linear device
  • Magnum-PSI
  • MAR
  • nitrogen
  • recombination


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