We present time-resolved measurements of an edge-to-core power transition in a light-ion (deuterium) helicon discharge in the form of infra-red camera imaging of a thin stainless steel target plate on the Proto-Material Exposure eXperiment device. The time-resolved images measure the two-dimensional distribution of power deposition in the helicon discharge. The discharge displays a mode transition characterized by a significant increase in the on-axis electron density and core power coupling, suppression of edge power coupling, and the formation of a fast-wave radial eigenmode. Although the self-consistent mechanism that drives this transition is not yet understood, the edge-to-core power transition displays characteristics that are consistent with the discharge entering a slow-wave anti-resonant regime. RF magnetic field measurements made across the plasma column, together with the power deposition results, provide direct evidence to support the suppression of the slow-wave in favor of core plasma production by the fast-wave in a light-ion helicon source.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics