# Nonlinear saturation of the slab ITG instability and zonal flow generation with fully kinetic ions

## Abstract

Fully kinetic turbulence models are of interest for their potential to validate or replace gyrokinetic models in plasma regimes where the gyrokinetic expansion parameters are marginal. Here, we demonstrate fully kinetic ion capability by simulating the growth and nonlinear saturation of the ion-temperature-gradient instability in shearless slab geometry assuming adiabatic electrons and including zonal flow dynamics. The ion trajectories are integrated using the Lorentz force, and the cyclotron motion is fully resolved. Linear growth and nonlinear saturation characteristics show excellent agreement with analogous gyrokinetic simulations across a wide range of parameters. The fully kinetic simulation accurately reproduces the nonlinearly generated zonal flow. In conclusion, this work demonstrates nonlinear capability, resolution of weak gradient drive, and zonal flow physics, which are critical aspects of modeling plasma turbulence with full ion dynamics.

- Authors:

- Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
- Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States); Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)

- Publication Date:

- Research Org.:
- Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)

- Sponsoring Org.:
- USDOE

- OSTI Identifier:
- 1473697

- Alternate Identifier(s):
- OSTI ID: 1425247

- Grant/Contract Number:
- FG02-08ER54954; SC000801

- Resource Type:
- Accepted Manuscript

- Journal Name:
- Physics of Plasmas

- Additional Journal Information:
- Journal Volume: 25; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X

- Publisher:
- American Institute of Physics (AIP)

- Country of Publication:
- United States

- Language:
- English

- Subject:
- 70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY

### Citation Formats

```
Miecnikowski, Matthew T., Sturdevant, Benjamin J., Chen, Yang, and Parker, Scott E. Nonlinear saturation of the slab ITG instability and zonal flow generation with fully kinetic ions. United States: N. p., 2018.
Web. doi:10.1063/1.5011681.
```

```
Miecnikowski, Matthew T., Sturdevant, Benjamin J., Chen, Yang, & Parker, Scott E. Nonlinear saturation of the slab ITG instability and zonal flow generation with fully kinetic ions. United States. doi:10.1063/1.5011681.
```

```
Miecnikowski, Matthew T., Sturdevant, Benjamin J., Chen, Yang, and Parker, Scott E. Fri .
"Nonlinear saturation of the slab ITG instability and zonal flow generation with fully kinetic ions". United States. doi:10.1063/1.5011681. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1473697.
```

```
@article{osti_1473697,
```

title = {Nonlinear saturation of the slab ITG instability and zonal flow generation with fully kinetic ions},

author = {Miecnikowski, Matthew T. and Sturdevant, Benjamin J. and Chen, Yang and Parker, Scott E.},

abstractNote = {Fully kinetic turbulence models are of interest for their potential to validate or replace gyrokinetic models in plasma regimes where the gyrokinetic expansion parameters are marginal. Here, we demonstrate fully kinetic ion capability by simulating the growth and nonlinear saturation of the ion-temperature-gradient instability in shearless slab geometry assuming adiabatic electrons and including zonal flow dynamics. The ion trajectories are integrated using the Lorentz force, and the cyclotron motion is fully resolved. Linear growth and nonlinear saturation characteristics show excellent agreement with analogous gyrokinetic simulations across a wide range of parameters. The fully kinetic simulation accurately reproduces the nonlinearly generated zonal flow. In conclusion, this work demonstrates nonlinear capability, resolution of weak gradient drive, and zonal flow physics, which are critical aspects of modeling plasma turbulence with full ion dynamics.},

doi = {10.1063/1.5011681},

journal = {Physics of Plasmas},

number = 5,

volume = 25,

place = {United States},

year = {2018},

month = {3}

}

#### Figures / Tables:

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Figures / Tables found in this record:

*Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.*