Ion temperature anisotropy in the tokamak scrape-off layer

Menglong Zhao, Tom Rognlien, Aaro Jarvinen, Ilon Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Understanding tokamak exhaust-power heat loads on divertor plates depends critically on having a realistic model of the scrape-off layer (SOL) plasma. The Braginskii fluid model is often solved to understand the SOL plasma behavior. This model is based on the collisional limit for transport along the magnetic field vec{B}. The ions and electron gyrofrequencies are assumed to be much larger than the Coulomb collision frequencies, which are nonetheless, sufficiently large to yield common parallel and perpendicular temperatures for each species, i.e. the temperatures are assumed to be isotropic. In certain circumstances such as encountered for the tokamak H-mode, the ion temperature can be quite anisotropic. In this work, the anisotropy effects are implemented in the two-dimensional (2D) transport code UEDGE. Various geometries (1D slab, 2D slab and a toroidal tokamak geometry) are used to study the 2D structure of ion temperature anisotropy and its effects on plasma transport in detail. Results show that the effects of ion temperature anisotropy on the plasma parallel transport are substantial near the magnetic X-point, which leads to different steady state density profiles in the divertor regions. The extra mirror force introduced by ion temperature anisotropy can be one of the main forces contributing to the plasma flow in the SOL.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125028
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • 2D fluid model
  • ion temperature anisotropy
  • SOL plasma flow
  • tokamak scrape-off layer


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