The dust motion inside the magnetized sheath—The effect of drag forces

Pandey, B. P.; Samarian, A.; Vladimirov, S. V.
August 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Aug2010, Vol. 17 Issue 8, p083701
Academic Journal
The isolated charged dust inside the magnetized plasma sheath moves under the influence of the electron and ion drag force and the sheath electrostatic field. The charge on the dust is a function of its radius as well as the value of the ambient sheath potential. It is shown that the charge on the dust determines its trajectory and dust performs the spiraling motion inside the sheath. The location of the turning spiral is determined by the number of negative charge on the dust, which in turn is a function of the dust radius. The back and forth spiraling motion finally causes the dust to move in a small, narrow region of the sheath. For a bigger dust particle, the dust moves closer to the sheath presheath boundary suggesting that the bigger grains, owing to the strong repulsion between the wall and dust, will be unable to travel inside the sheath. Only small, micron-sized grains can travel closer to the wall before repulsion pushes it back toward the plasma-sheath boundary. The temporal behavior of the spiraling dust motion appears like a damped harmonic oscillation, suggesting that the plasma drag force causes dissipation of the electrostatic energy. However, after initial damping, the grain keeps oscillating although with much smaller amplitude. The possible application of the present results to the ongoing sheath experiments is discussed.


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