Model experiment for studying lane formation in binary complex plasmas
Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics - Giessenbachstr., 85748 Garching, Germany, EU
Received: 15 May 2012
Accepted: 26 July 2012
We present the first experimental realisation on lane formation in binary complex plasmas under gravity conditions. The amount of penetrating particles can be controlled. The experiment can be operated with stable conditions continuously, which allows to study steady state. The driving force is independent of time and position and the background density is homogeneous and isotropic. This provides an ideal model system for comparison with numerical experiments and observations in colloidal suspensions. The experiment setup is based on PK-3 Plus laboratory operated on the International Space Station. Gravitation is compensated by thermophoretic force and penetrating particles are controlled via a toroidal vortex with poloidal flow. The evolution of lane formation along the penetration direction is illustrated by lane order parameter.
PACS: 52.27.Lw – Dusty or complex plasmas; plasma crystals / 64.75.Cd – Phase equilibria of fluid mixtures, including gases, hydrates, etc. / 61.20.-p – Structure of liquids
© EPLA, 2012