Nav: Home

Russian physicists obtained data on particles self-organization in ultracold dusty plasma

March 27, 2019

It is for the first time that physicists investigated the behavior of particles in a dusty plasma at a temperature below 2 K. The experiment showed that at extremely low temperatures nanoclusters can form in the plasma, and the synthesis of polymer fibers takes place. The results of the experiment can be used to create new materials with desired and controlled properties. The results of this study are published in Scientific Reports.

Scientists from the Joint Institute for High Temperatures, Russian Academy of Sciences together with colleagues from the Branch of Talrose Institute for Energy Problems of Chemical Physics, RAS and Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology studied a multimodal dusty plasma formed in a positive column of the direct current glow discharge at ultralow temperatures (at superfluid helium temperatures).

According to Oleg Petrov, director of the Institute for High Temperatures RAS and one of the authors of the article, it is for the first time that scientists managed to observe dusty plasma in a gas discharge cooled by superfluid helium at a temperature of 1.6 - 2 K. Until now, dusty plasma and even gas discharges have not been studied at temperatures lower than 4.2 K which is liquid helium temperature.

In the course of the experiment, ion sputtering of polymers from a special insert was carried out and self-organization phenomena were observed, namely, the formation of nanoclusters with sizes less than 100 nm and polymer fibers with a length of up to 5 mm and a diameter of about 10 microns. Obtained at extreme temperatures, the fibers do not collapse when studied later in normal conditions.

"At ultralow temperatures, it becomes possible to precisely control the composition of the sprayed material, since under these conditions any impurities "freeze" and precipitate, - Oleg Petrov comments. - As a result, when spraying a substance in the gaseous helium, it is possible to obtain superpure materials, which might be the way to obtain fibers with new desired properties: for example, new types of polymers that cannot be obtained by ordinary chemical synthesis. Such materials may be radically different from existing ones".

The phenomena of self-organization are widespread in nature, and are extremely diverse and observed in various systems of complexity and scale: from physical, studied in the nanoworld and in astronomy, to biological, social and economic processes. Such phenomena are characteristic of the so-called open (non-equilibrium) systems, which include, among other, dusty plasma formed by charged particles of micron size, retained in the plasma of a gas electric discharge. The intense scattering of laser radiation by particles allows to study the systems formed by charged particles, tracking their coordinates and speeds in real time. Dusty plasma is a convenient tool for studying various phenomena, for example, three-dimensional and two-dimensional phase transitions, as well as the formation of non-linear waves.

Compared with alternative systems,ndusty plasma provides a unique opportunity to vary the temperature of the plasma-forming gas -- gaseous helium -- which helps to study the effect of gas temperature changes on properties of plasma and the processes that occur in it.

The question of the lower limit of temperatures at which experimental studies of dusty plasma can be carried out remained open until recently. From this point of view, the experiment conducted by Russian physicists on the synthesis of polymer nanoclusters and fibers at temperatures below 2 K is the first in world practice: only a few comparative studies of dusty plasma at 4.2 K have been conducted so far.

The reason for such lack of knowledge of the gas discharge plasma at temperatures below 4.2 K is related to the fact that the problem is not only to achieve temperatures below that of liquid helium to be used for cooling the tube, but also the power limit in the discharge which leads to heating of gaseous helium.

The experiment, the results of which were published in Scientific Reports, was carried out on a facility assembled on the basis of an optical cryostat and intended to study plasma-dust structures at helium temperatures. At present, scientists of the JIHT RAS plan to continue the experiments and study the phenomena of self-organization in dusty plasmas at ultralow temperatures using various dispersed materials.

AKSON Russian Science Communication Association

Related Plasma Articles:

Plasma-driven biocatalysis
Compared with traditional chemical methods, enzyme catalysis has numerous advantages.
How bacteria protect themselves from plasma treatment
Considering the ever-growing percentage of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, interest in medical use of plasma is increasing.
A breakthrough in the study of laser/plasma interactions
Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and CEA Saclay have developed a particle-in-cell simulation tool that is enabling cutting-edge simulations of laser/plasma coupling mechanisms.
Researchers turn liquid metal into a plasma
For the first time, researchers at the University of Rochester's Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) have found a way to turn a liquid metal into a plasma and to observe the temperature where a liquid under high-density conditions crosses over to a plasma state.
How black holes power plasma jets
Cosmic robbery powers the jets streaming from a black hole, new simulations reveal.
Give it the plasma treatment: strong adhesion without adhesives
A Japanese research team at Osaka University used plasma treatment to make fluoropolymers and silicone resin adhere without any adhesives.
Chemotherapeutic drugs and plasma proteins: Exploring new dimensions
This review provides a bird's eye view of interaction of a number of clinically important drugs currently in use that show covalent or non-covalent interaction with serum proteins.
The coming of age of plasma physics
The story of the generation of physicists involved in the development of a sustainable energy source, controlled fusion, using a method called magnetic confinement.
Intense microwave pulse ionizes its own channel through plasma
More than 30 years ago, researchers theoretically predicted the ionization-induced channeling of an intense microwave beam propagating through a neutral gas (>103 Pa) -- and now it's finally been observed experimentally.
Plasma thruster: New space debris removal technology
A Japanese and Australian research group has discovered new technology to remove space debris using a single propulsion system in a helicon plasma thruster.
More Plasma News and Plasma Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

One of the most consistent questions we get at the show is from parents who want to know which episodes are kid-friendly and which aren't. So today, we're releasing a separate feed, Radiolab for Kids. To kick it off, we're rerunning an all-time favorite episode: Space. In the 60's, space exploration was an American obsession. This hour, we chart the path from romance to increasing cynicism. We begin with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan, with a story about the Voyager expedition, true love, and a golden record that travels through space. And astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson explains the Coepernican Principle, and just how insignificant we are. Support Radiolab today at