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Dusty Plasma Investigation

#1816


Dusty Plasma in Nature and Technological Devices

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-PLS/Plasma Physics/Physics

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
20.03.2000

Leading Institute
VNIIEF, Russia, N. Novgorod reg., Sarov

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of General Physics named after A.M. Prokhorov RAS, Russia, Moscow

Collaborators

  • Universita di Nopoli "Federico II", Italy, Napoli\nEindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, Eindhoven

Project summary

The objective of the project is to study dusty plasma, i.e. plasma with microparticles of condensed solid or liquid substances. Such plasma is a rather usual phenomenon in nature (cosmic plasma of comet tails, planet rings, plasma-dust nebulae), and practically always occurs in plasma engineering facilities (products of wall erosion in thermonuclear fusion facility chambers, products of electrode erosion in facilities for chip manufacture and treatment using plasma technologies). At that, dust in engineering facilities most often has negative effects, since its presence in thermonuclear fusion facilities leads to extremely high consumption of plasma energy to produce radiation, and in microtechnology facilities its presence results in defects of chips manufactured.

When they are in plasma, dust particles get charged. At that, as distinct from the dust particles’ dynamics in a gas, where it is inpidual, their dynamics becomes collective. This also results in a great difference between dusty plasma’s properties and dynamics and those of usual electron-ion gas-discharge plasma. For example, under certain conditions, plasma dust particles are known to be able of forming crystal structures or initiating plasma pinching (self-compression), though general laws of dusty plasma dynamics have not been identified yet.

In this regard, the purpose of the project is to study the dynamic and kinetic properties of dusty plasma and to determine the laws of dust component dynamics in plasma that exists both in nature and in engineering facilities.

In order to achieve this purpose, one needs to do the following:

Task 1. Theoretically and experimentally investigate the process of electric charging of dust particles in plasma and study the mechanisms of long-distance forces origination between particles that influence dust component dynamics in plasma.
Task 2. Theoretically and experimentally identify the laws of dust component dynamics in plasma.
Task 3. Experimentally study ionization dynamics of a gas that contains a dust component, compare it with pure gas ionization dynamics in microwave discharges and determine the laws of dusty plasma dynamics.
Task 4. Study the influence of dust presence on plasma confinement in a stationary magnetic field.
Task 5. Investigate the response of dust component to external pulsed loads (pressure shock waves, high-frequency and microwave pulses) applied in order to remove dust from plasma.

The proposed scope of project activities includes:

Task 1:
- Development and manufacture of a chamber to identify the dynamics of electric charging of dust particles in plasma;
- Measurements of electric charge of dust particles in plasma;
- Measurements of attraction and repulsion forces between dust particles in plasma;
- Development of a theory of dust particles charging in plasma;
- Development of a theory of dust particles attraction and repulsion in plasma;
- Comparison of measured and theoretical data.

Task 2:
- Development of a method to inject portions of dust particles into plasma;
- Development and manufacture of a system to inject portions of dust particles into plasma;
- Development of a technique to measure dust cloud expansion in plasma;
- Measurements of dust cloud expansion dynamics in plasma;
- Development of a hydrodynamic theory as applied to plasma dust component;
- Comparison of measured and theoretical data as applied to the objects of nature and engineering facilities.

Task 3
- Experiments to investigate threshold fields of a microwave breakdown in dusty gases in the centimeter and decimeter wave length ranges;
- Measurements of dusty plasma ionization frequency;
- Experiments to investigate the “breakdown memory phenomenon” in repeated microwave pulses and evaluation of the influence of the initial dust charge on the phenomena of interest;
- Development of a theory of dusty gas breakdown, investigation into dust influence on electron avalanche development kinetics.

Task 4:
- Investigation into dynamics of a compact plasma cloud generated by high-frequency and microwave discharges at dust flow injection;
- Experiments to study dynamics of a plasma column confined by a stationary magnetic field at dust flow injection.

Task 5:
- Experiments to simulate dust removal from process plasma using electrostatic fields;
- Modeling of a method to remove dust from plasma by special arranging working gas flows;
- Investigation into the response of dust component to external pulsed loads (pressure shock waves, high-frequency and microwave pulses) applied in order to remove dust from plasma.


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