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Electron evaporation from an ultracold plasma in a uniform electric field

TitleElectron evaporation from an ultracold plasma in a uniform electric field
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsK. A. Twedt, and S. L. Rolston
JournalPhys. Plasmas
Date Publishedjun

Electrons in an expanding ultracold plasma are expected to be in quasi-equilibrium, since the collision times are short compared to the plasma lifetime, yet we observe electrons evaporating out as the ion density decreases during expansion. We observe that a small electric field that shifts the electron cloud with respect to the ions increases the evaporation rate. We have calculated the spatial distribution of a zero-temperature electron cloud as a function of applied field and ion density, which is assumed to be Gaussian at all times. This calculation allows us to predict the flux of cold electrons from the plasma at all times, and is in good agreement with our observed electron signal.


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