Two-dimensional lithium beam imaging technique has been applied in the spherical tokamak CPD (compact plasma wall interaction experimental device) to study the effects of magnetic field configurations on rf plasma boundary in the absence of any plasma current, and also for the measurement of a two-dimensional edge electron density profile. With the present working condition of the diagnostics, the minimum measured electron density can be ∼1.0× 1016 m-3; this is considered to be the definition for the plasma boundary. The performance of the lithium sheet beam is absolutely calibrated using a quartz crystal monitor. Experimental results reveal that magnetic field configuration, either mirror or so-called null, critically affects the rf plasma boundary. A sharp lower boundary is found to exist in magnetic null configuration, which is quite different from that in the weak mirror configuration. Theoretical calculations of particle drift orbit and magnetic connection length (wall-to-wall) suggest that only mirror trapped particles are confined within a region where the magnetic connection length is ∼4.0 m or more. A two-dimensional edge electron density profile is obtained from the observed Li I intensity profile. Overdense plasma formation is discussed from the viewpoint of mode conversion of rf wave into electron Bernstein wave and its dependence on the electron density profile.
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