A new small angle slot (SAS) divertor concept has been developed to enhance neutral cooling across the divertor target by coupling a closed slot structure with appropriate target shaping. Initial tests on DIII-D find a strong interplay between such anticipated 'SAS' effects and cross-field drifts, favouring operation with the ion B × ∇B drift away from the X-point, as currently employed for advanced tokamaks. This offers the following key improvements relative to DIII-D's open lower divertor or partially-closed upper divertor: (i) SAS allows for transition to low temperature moderately detached divertor conditions with T e ≲ 10 eV at very low main plasma densities, lower than are usually attainable at all in DIII-D high confinement (H-mode) plasmas as used in these tests; (ii) Pedestal performance and core confinement are significantly improved with SAS. The final confinement collapse associated with the onset of X-point MARFE (multifaceted asymmetric radiation from the edge) following deep detachment occurs at significantly higher pedestal densities, thus widening the window of H-mode operation compatible with a dissipative divertor. For operation with the ion B × ∇B drift toward the X-point, the divertor plasma transitions to a bifurcative detached state at much higher densities, similar to other divertor configurations in DIII-D. These results highlight the strong interplay between divertor closure and drifts, and point to an interesting divertor optimization path to explore that offers potential for future fusion reactors.
- advanced divertor
- plasma-material interactions