Time-Domain Modeling of RF Antennas and Plasma-Surface Interactions
Tech-X Corporation, 5621 Arapahoe Avenue Suite A, Boulder, Colorado 80303, USA
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Published online: 23 October 2017
Recent advances in finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) modeling techniques allow plasma-surface interactions such as sheath formation and sputtering to be modeled concurrently with the physics of antenna near- and far-field behavior and ICRF power flow. Although typical sheath length scales (micrometers) are much smaller than the wavelengths of fast (tens of cm) and slow (millimeter) waves excited by the antenna, sheath behavior near plasma-facing antenna components can be represented by a sub-grid kinetic sheath boundary condition, from which RF-rectified sheath potential variation over the surface is computed as a function of current flow and local plasma parameters near the wall. These local time-varying sheath potentials can then be used, in tandem with particle-in-cell (PIC) models of the edge plasma, to study sputtering effects. Particle strike energies at the wall can be computed more accurately, consistent with their passage through the known potential of the sheath, such that correspondingly increased accuracy of sputtering yields and heat/particle fluxes to antenna surfaces is obtained. The new simulation capabilities enable time-domain modeling of plasma-surface interactions and ICRF physics in realistic experimental configurations at unprecedented spatial resolution. We will present results/animations from high-performance (10k-100k core) FDTD/PIC simulations of Alcator C-Mod antenna operation.
© The authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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