Vertical probe-induced asymmetric dust oscillation in complex plasma
Harris, B. J.
Hyde, T. W.
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A complex plasma vertical oscillation experiment which modifies the bulk is presented. Spherical, micron-sized particles within a Coulomb crystal levitated in the sheath above the powered lower electrode in a GEC reference cell are perturbed using a probe attached to a Zyvex S100 Nanomanipulator. By oscillating the probe potential sinusoidally, particle motion is found to be asymmetric, exhibiting superharmonic response in one case. Using a simple electric field model for the plasma sheath, including a nonzero electric field at the sheath edge, dust particle charges are found by employing a balance of relevant forces and emission analysis. Adjusting the parameters of the electric field model allowed the change predicted in the levitation height to be compared with experiment. A discrete oscillator Green's function is applied using the derived force, which accurately predicts the particle's motion and allows the determination of the electric field at the sheath edge.