Structure of spherical Yukawa clusters: A model for dust particles in dusty plasmas in an isotropic environment

Hiroo Totsuji, Takafumi Ogawa, Chieko Totsuji, Kenji Tsuruta

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The structure of spherical clusters composed of Yukawa particles is analyzed by molecular dynamics simulations and theoretical approaches as a model for dust particles in dusty plasmas in the isotropic environment. The latter condition is expected to be realized under microgravity or by active cancellation of the effect of gravity on the ground. It is found that, at low temperatures, Yukawa particles form spherical shells and, when scaled by the mean distance, the structure is almost independent of the strength of screening including the case of the Coulomb interaction. The positions and populations of shells and the conditions for the change of the number of shells are expressed by simple interpolation formulas. Shells have an approximately equal spacing close to that of triangular lattice planes in the bulk close-packed structures. It is shown that, when the cohesive energy in each shell is properly taken into account, the shell model reproduces the structure of spherical Yukawa clusters to a good accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number036406
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics

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