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Rev Sci Instrum ; 87(9): 093505, 2016 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27782568


New complex-plasma facility, Plasmakristall-4 (PK-4), has been recently commissioned on board the International Space Station. In complex plasmas, the subsystem of µm-sized microparticles immersed in low-pressure weakly ionized gas-discharge plasmas becomes strongly coupled due to the high (103-104 e) electric charge on the microparticle surface. The microparticle subsystem of complex plasmas is available for the observation at the kinetic level, which makes complex plasmas appropriate for particle-resolved modeling of classical condensed matter phenomena. The main purpose of PK-4 is the investigation of flowing complex plasmas. To generate plasma, PK-4 makes use of a classical dc discharge in a glass tube, whose polarity can be switched with the frequency of the order of 100 Hz. This frequency is high enough not to be felt by the relatively heavy microparticles. The duty cycle of the polarity switching can be also varied allowing to vary the drift velocity of the microparticles and (when necessary) to trap them. The facility is equipped with two videocameras and illumination laser for the microparticle imaging, kaleidoscopic plasma glow observation system and minispectrometer for plasma diagnostics and various microparticle manipulation devices (e.g., powerful manipulation laser). Scientific experiments are programmed in the form of scripts written with the help of specially developed C scripting language libraries. PK-4 is mainly operated from the ground (control center CADMOS in Toulouse, France) with the support of the space station crew. Data recorded during the experiments are later on delivered to the ground on the removable hard disk drives and distributed to participating scientists for the detailed analysis.

Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys ; 67(3 Pt 2): 036404, 2003 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-12689168


"Complex plasmas" consist of electrons, ions, and charged microparticles. The latter are individually observable, allowing kinetic measurements in plasmas. Using a sudden gas pulse, a traveling perturbation was initiated in such a complex plasma and its propagation, acceleration, and steepening-possibly into a shock was followed. The experiment was performed in the PKE-Nefedov laboratory under microgravity conditions on the international space station, i.e., in a complex plasma cloud with very little stored (potential or free) energy and thus free of, e.g., parametric instabilities. The perturbation front remained remarkably smooth, with a microroughness of the order of the interparticle distance. The observations are presented and interpreted.

Phys Rev Lett ; 89(17): 175001, 2002 Oct 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-12398676


Micron-sized particles are suspended or lifted up in a gas by thermophoresis. This allows the study of many processes occurring in strongly coupled complex plasmas at the kinetic level in a relatively stress-free environment. First results of this study are presented. The technique is also of interest for technological applications.