A study is presented of the nonlinear self-modulation of low-frequency electrostatic (dust acoustic) waves propagating in a dusty plasma, in the presence of a superthermal ion (and Maxwellian electron) background. A kappa-type superthermal distribution is assumed for the ion component, accounting for an arbitrary deviation from Maxwellian equilibrium, parametrized via a real parameter kappa. The ordinary Maxwellian-background case is recovered for kappa ->infinity. By employing a multiple scales technique, a nonlinear Schrodinger-type equation (NLSE) is derived for the electric potential wave amplitude. Both dispersion and nonlinearity coefficients of the NLSE are explicit functions of the carrier wavenumber and of relevant physical parameters (background species density and temperature, as well as nonthermality, via kappa). The influence of plasma background superthermality on the growth rate of the modulational instability is discussed. The superthermal feature appears to control the occurrence of modulational instability, since the instability window is strongly modified. Localized wavepackets in the form of either bright-or dark-type envelope solitons, modeling envelope pulses or electric potential holes (voids), respectively, may occur. A parametric investigation indicates that the structural characteristics of these envelope excitations (width, amplitude) are affected by superthermality, as well as by relevant plasma parameters (dust concentration, ion temperature).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics