Sectional modeling of nanoparticle size and charge distributions in dusty plasmas

Pulkit Agarwal, Steven L. Girshick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Sectional models of the dynamics of aerosol populations are well established in the aerosol literature but have received relatively less attention in numerical models of dusty plasmas, where most modeling studies have assumed the existence of monodisperse dust particles. In the case of plasmas in which nanoparticles nucleate and grow, significant polydispersity can exist in particle size distributions, and stochastic charging can cause particles of given size to have a broad distribution of charge states. Sectional models, while computationally expensive, are well suited to treating such distributions. This paper presents an overview of sectional modeling of nanodusty plasmas, and presents examples of simulation results that reveal important qualitative features of the spatiotemporal evolution of such plasmas, many of which could not be revealed by models that consider only monodisperse dust particles and average particle charge. These features include the emergence of bimodal particle populations consisting of very small neutral particles and larger negatively charged particles, the effects of size and charge distributions on coagulation, spreading and structure of the particle cloud, and the dynamics of dusty plasma afterglows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number055023
JournalPlasma Sources Science and Technology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012

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