2023 journal article

Wall conditioning effects and boron migration during boron powder injection in ASDEX Upgrade


author keywords: Nuclear fusion; Plasma physics; Wall conditioning; Boronisation
Source: Web Of Science
Added: June 19, 2023

The efficacy of boron powder injection as a wall conditioning tool method in terms of its ability to create a sufficiently uniform boron layer on plasma-facing surfaces has been studied in ASDEX Upgrade. Boron powder was injected in two series of dedicated plasma discharges at varied injection rates and total amount injected. The resulting boron deposition was determined quantitatively by exposure of witness samples followed by ex-situ surface analysis of the retrieved samples. In both experiments, isotopically enriched boron was used to distinguish the deposition of the newly injected material from the residual boron fraction in the machine originating from previous glow discharge boronisations. It could be confirmed that the injected boron is migrating and re-deposited across plasma-facing wall surfaces already within one discharge. At erosion dominated divertor areas, the boron influx from the main chamber results in formation of a mixed tungsten–boron surface layer with a boron area density of O(1nm) whereas at deposition dominated areas closed boron layers grow with ongoing boron injection to a thickness of up to O(1μm). Extrapolating the radial boron deposition profile on the samples exposed in the main chamber to the limiter front yields a similar boron coverage of O(1μm), which is about ten times higher than typical values for glow discharge boronisation. Together with the observed reduction of oxygen level and improved wall pumping, the surface analysis results demonstrate that boron powder injection provides a suitable means to refresh the wall conditioning effect of a preceding glow discharge boronisation.