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Tuning of the interaction potential in complex plasmas

Abstract : Plasmas are next to the solid, liquid and gaseous phase the fourth state of matter. It is established by ionizing a gas. About 99% of the visible matter in the universe is in the state of plasma. The industrial, medical and scientific benefits of plasmas led to a variety of artificially produced plasmas. In plasmas dust particles can grow. Especially in industrial plasmas particle formation in the plasma gas phase is very common. The fundamental understanding of the growth is of vital importance in order to suppress undesired particle formation or to deposit particles and films in a certain region. In terms of this thesis the particle growth in a direct current (DC) discharge by using acetylene will be discussed. It has been observed that the particle growth depends on the neutral gas flow fed into the plasma chamber. Depending on the applied flow different growth frequencies and transport phenomena are shown. The observations recorded by a spectrometer will then be complimented by pictures from the particles taken by a scanning electron microscope. Introducing artificial particles into a plasma rather than growing them there yields several advantages. The particle sizes can be controlled, including the possibility of particle mixtures. Furthermore, particles with bigger diameter can be introduced than what can be grown on reasonable time scales in a plasma. Several possible experiments with injected particles underline the interdisciplinary character of the plasma environment. To understand the inter particle interactions the particle charge is a crucial parameter. In this thesis several experiments determining the particle charge will be discussed. In this frame the experiments on board of the International Space Station have been performed to measure the residual charge in the particle afterglow. In the last section experiments on particle cluster rotation as observed in an additional confinement will be discussed. It will be shown that the particles tend to form vertical strings due to the wake field that forms downstream of each particle. Finally the insight gained on the possibilities of tuning of the interaction potential by electric fields will be discussed. The results are then compared to the predictions of earlier simulations.
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  • HAL Id : tel-00831697, version 1

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Lisa Wörner. Tuning of the interaction potential in complex plasmas. Other [cond-mat.other]. Université d'Orléans; Ludwig-Maximilians Universität (Munich, Allemagne), 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012ORLE2052⟩. ⟨tel-00831697⟩

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