On melting criteria for complex plasma
B.A. Klumov a, b
a Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Postfach 1312, Giessenbechstrasse 85748 , Garching, 85741, Germany
b Joint Institute for High Temperatures, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Izhorskaya 13/19, Moscow, 127412, Russian Federation
The present paper considers melting criteria for a plasma crystal discovered in dust plasma in 1994. Separate discussions are devoted to three-dimensional (3D) and two-dimensional (2D) systems. In the 3D case, melting criteria are derived based on the properties of local order in a system of microparticles. The order parameters are constructed from the cumulative distributions of the microparticle probability distributions as functions of various rotational invariants. The melting criteria proposed are constructed using static information on microparticle positions: a few snapshots of the system that allow for the determination of particle coordinates are enough to determine the phase state of the system. It is shown that criteria obtained in this way describe well the melting and premelting of 3D complex plasmas. In 2D systems, a system of microparticles interacting via a screened Coulomb (i.e., Debye — Hückel or Yukawa) potential is considered as an example, using molecular dynamics simulations. A number of new order parameters characterizing the melting of 2D complex plasmas are proposed. The order parameters and melting criteria proposed for 2D and 3D complex plasmas can be applied to other systems as well.