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Journal Article

Finite-temperature crossover from a crystalline to a cluster phase for a confined finite chain of ions


Zampetaki,  Alexandra V.
International Max Planck Research School for Ultrafast Imaging & Structural Dynamics (IMPRS-UFAST), Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;
Zentrum für Optische Quantentechnologien, Universität Hamburg, Luruper Chaussee 149, 22761 Hamburg, Germany;

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Zampetaki, A. V., Diakonos, F. K., & Schmelcher, P. (2013). Finite-temperature crossover from a crystalline to a cluster phase for a confined finite chain of ions. Physical Review E, 87(4): 042116. doi:10.1103/PhysRevE.87.042116.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-24FA-9
Employing Monte Carlo simulation techniques we investigate the statistical properties of equally charged particles confined in a one-dimensional box trap and detect a crossover from a crystalline to a cluster phase with increasing temperature. The corresponding transition temperature depends separately on the number of particles N and the box size L, implying nonextensivity due to the long-range character of the interactions. The probability density of the spacing between the particles exhibits at low temperatures an accumulation of discrete peaks with an overall asymmetric shape. In the vicinity of the transition temperature it is of a Gaussian form, whereas in the high-temperature regime an exponential decay is observed. The high-temperature behavior shows a cluster phase with a mean cluster size that first increases with the temperature and then saturates. The crossover is clearly identifiable also in the nonlinear behavior of the heat capacity with varying temperature. The influence of the trapping potential on the observed results as well as possible experimental realizations are briefly addressed.