The occurrence and damage of unipolar arcing on fuzzy tungsten

D. U. B. Aussems, D. Nishijima, C. Brandt, H. J. van der Meiden, M. Vilemova, J. Matejicek, G. De Temmerman, R. P. Doerner, N. J. Lopes Cardozo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
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This research investigated whether unipolar arcing in the divertor of fusion reactors is a potential cause for enhanced wear of the divertor. It was found that 1 µm of nano-fuzz growth is sufficient to initiate arcing, mainly depending on the sheath potential drop and electron density. The average mass loss rate induced by the arc was determined from mass loss measurements and found to be consistent with the value estimated from the arc current. The average arc track erosion depth was estimated by using the measured mass loss and damaged surface area and was found to be one tenth of the fuzzy layer thickness. Due to melting of the fuzzy structures the actual depth is larger and some arc tracks occasionally appeared to even reach the bulk beyond the fuzzy layer. The conclusion of this study is therefore that arcing in the divertor of future tokamaks (e.g. ITER) potentially is an important cause for surface damage and plasma pollution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-307
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


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