Two-dimensional edge plasma structures of the l ≤ 2 helical system CHS have been investigated with the use of a neutral lithium beam probe. Two different types of edge magnetic configuration have been compared, namely, an inboard-wall limiter configuration and an ergodic magnetic divertor configuration which is intrinsic to non-axisymmetric helical devices. The scrape-off plasma in the limiter configuration is essentially one-dimensional and the radial scale length is well described by a simple diffusion model with finite connection length of the magnetic field line. While in the ergodic divertor configuration, edge plasma structure shows up-down asymmetry in the steady state near the outer separatrix region regardless of the symmetric magnetic structure. The asymmetry reverses when the magnetic field direction is reversed. Plasma shift is apparently in the direction of ion B × ∇B drift. The result suggests that plasma equilibrium in the ergodic layer is not determined simply by the magnetic field structure. The effect of plasma flow and drift motions would be important. Such asymmetry in plasma structure may induce non-uniform heat deposition on the divertor plates. Modelling of plasma equilibrium in the ergodic layer is necessary for practical helical divertor design.
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