Vertical probe-induced asymmetric dust oscillation in complex plasma



Harris, Brandon Joseph.
Matthews, Lorin Swint.
Hyde, Truell Wayne.

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Physical Review E


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.




Phys Rev E, 87(5), 053109, 2013