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Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Jan 29;104(4):045001. Epub 2010 Jan 26.

On demand triggering of edge localized instabilities using external nonaxisymmetric magnetic perturbations in toroidal plasmas.

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA.


The application of nonaxisymmetric magnetic fields is shown to destabilize edge-localized modes (ELMs) during otherwise ELM-free periods of discharges in the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX). Profile analysis shows the applied fields increased the temperature and pressure gradients, decreasing edge stability. This robust effect was exploited for a new form of ELM control: the triggering of ELMs at will in high performance H mode plasmas enabled by lithium conditioning, yielding high time-averaged energy confinement with reduced core impurity density and radiated power.

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