Neutral atoms in the plasma (from, for example, a neutral beam) donate electrons to fully ionised impurity ions, producing hydrogen-like ions. As the electrons decay from excited states they emit photons from which the impurity temperature, rotation and density can be measured using conventional spectroscopy, and this is used as a diagnostic for fusion plasma research. This technique, which is referred to as charge exchange recombination spectroscopy (CXRS), allows measurements of the densities of fully stripped impurity ions and particle transport coefficients with only minor uncertainties arising from atomic processes.
Glossary Term: Charge exchange recombination spectroscopy
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