New Methods to Create Multielectron Bubbles in Liquid Helium

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New Methods to Create Multielectron Bubbles in Liquid Helium

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Title: New Methods to Create Multielectron Bubbles in Liquid Helium
Author: Fang, Jieping
Citation: Fang, Jieping. 2012. New Methods to Create Multielectron Bubbles in Liquid Helium. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: An equilibrium multielectron bubble (MEB) in liquid helium is a fascinating object with a spherical two-dimensional electron gas on its surface. After it was first observed a few decades ago, a plethora of physical properties of MEBs, for example, a tunable surface electron density, have been predicted. In this thesis, we will discuss two new methods to create MEBs in liquid helium. Before the discussion, the way to generate a large number of electrons in a low temperature system will be discussed, including thermionic emission and field emission in helium. In the first new method to make MEBs, we used a dome-shaped cell filled with superfluid helium in which an MEB was created and confined at the dome. The lifetime of the MEB was substantially longer than the previously reported observations of MEBs. In the second method, MEBs were extracted from the vapor sheath around an electrically heated tungsten filament submerged in liquid helium, either by a high electric field (up to 15 kV/cm) or by a sudden increase of a negative pressure in liquid helium. High-speed photography was used to capture the MEB's motion. A method to determine the number of electrons was developed by monitoring the oscillations of the MEBs. Finally, an electromagnetic trap was designed to localize the MEBs created using the second method, which was important for future studies of the properties of MEBs.
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