Plasma-wall interactions have been studied in the full-W ASDEX Upgrade during its dedicated helium campaign. Relatively clean plasmas with a He content of >80% could be obtained by applying ion cyclotron wall conditioning (ICWC) discharges upon changeover from D to He. However, co-deposited layers with significant amounts of He and D were measured on W samples exposed to ICWC plasmas at the low-field side (outer) midplane. This is a sign of local migration and accumulation of materials and residual fuel in regions shadowed from direct plasma exposure albeit globally D was removed from the vessel. When exposing W samples to ELMy H-mode helium plasmas in the outer strike-point region, no net erosion was observed but the surfaces had been covered with co-deposited layers mainly consisting of W, B, C, and D and being the thickest on rough and modified surfaces. This is different from the typical erosion-deposition patterns in D plasmas, where usually sharp net-erosion peaks surrounded by prominent net-deposition maxima for W are observed close to the strike point. Moreover, no clear signs of W nanostructure growth or destruction could be seen. The growth of deposited layers may impact the operation of future fusion reactors and is attributed to strong sources in the main chamber that under suitable conditions may switch the balance from net erosion into net deposition, even close to the strike points. In addition, the absence of noticeable chemical erosion in helium plasmas may have affected the thickness of the deposited layers. Retention of He, for its part, remained small and uniform throughout the strike-point region although our results indicate that samples with smooth surfaces can contain an order of magnitude less He than their rough counterparts.
- plasma-wall interaction
- tungsten fuzz