W. Deng and Z. Lin
Physics of Plasmas 16, 102503 (2009)
Electrostatic drift wave turbulence in tokamak plasmas with reversed magnetic shear is studied using global gyrokinetic particle simulations. The linear eigenmode of the ion temperature gradient (ITG) instability exhibits a mode gap around the minimum safety factor (qmin) region, particularly when qmin is an integer, due to the rarefaction of rational surfaces. The collisionless trapped electron mode (CTEM) instability is suppressed in the negative-shear region due to the reversal of the toroidal precessional drift of trapped electrons. However, after nonlinear saturation, the ITG gap is filled up by the turbulence spreading and the CTEM fluctuation propagates into the stable negative-shear region. The steady state turbulence occupies the whole volume without any identifiable gap or coherent structures of the heat conductivity, perturbed temperature, or zonal flows in the qmin location or the reversed shear region. Our finding indicates that the electrostatic drift wave turbulence itself does not support either linear or nonlinear mechanism for the formation of internal transport barriers in the reversed magnetic shear when qmin crossing an integer.