The correlation buildup and the formation dynamics of the shell structure in a spherically confined one-component plasma are studied. Using Langevin dynamics simulations the relaxation processes and characteristic time scales and their dependence on the pair interaction and dissipation in the plasma are investigated. While in systems with Coulomb interaction (e.g., trapped ions) in a harmonic confinement shell formation starts at the plasma edge and proceeds inward, this trend is significantly weakened for dusty plasmas with Yukawa interaction. With a suitable change of the confinement conditions the crystallization scenario can be externally controlled.
- Received 11 September 2009
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