Volume 100, Number 3, November 2012
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Physics of Gases, Plasmas and Electric Discharges|
|Published online||13 November 2012|
String structures in driven 3D complex-plasma clusters
1 Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics - Giessenbachstraße, D-85748 Garching, Germany, EU
2 Groupe de la Recherche sur l'Energie et les Materiaux Ionisées - F-84677 Orléans, Cedex 2, France, EU
3 Christian-Albrechts Universität zu Kiel - D-24118 Kiel, Germany, EU
Received: 14 September 2012
Accepted: 15 October 2012
The structure of driven three-dimensional complex-plasma clusters was studied experimentally. The clusters consisted of around 60 glass microspheres that were suspended in a plasma of rf discharge in argon. The particles were confined in a glass box with conductive yet transparent coating on its four side walls. This allowed manipulating the particle cluster by biasing the confining walls in a certain sequence and direct imaging of the cluster. In this work, a rotating electric field was used to drive the clusters. Depending on the field frequency, the clusters rotated (104–107 times slower than the rotating field) or remained stationary. The cluster structure was neither that of nested spherical shells nor a simple chain structure. Strings of various lengths were found consisting of 2 to 5 particles, their spatial and temporal correlations were studied. The results are compared to recent simulations.
PACS: 52.27.Lw – Dusty or complex plasmas; plasma crystals / 52.30.-q – Plasma dynamics and flow / 52.27.Gr – Strongly-coupled plasmas
© EPLA, 2012
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