Nanomanipulator perturbation of dust crystals in a GEC rf plasma cell.
The vast majority of observable matter is composed of complex plasma. Even with its prevalence, the interactions between the plasma's constituents are not fully understood. In many cases, clouds of dust grains from and can even display organized, crystal-like, structures. Understanding the interparticle forces involved within these dust crystals will greatly advance the understanding of complex plasmas as a whole. Perturbing and observing the crystal's reaction is a practical and powerful method of examining these forces. In this paper, a new versatile system for controlled dust manipulation, the S100 nanomanipulator, is examined. Two experiments were conducted with this probe to characterize the response of both the plasma and a dust crystal. First, the dust was exposed to the probe to determine the length scale of interaction between the two. Next, a Langmuir probe was used to find the extent of the wake field produced.