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J. Imaging 2019, 5(3), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/jimaging5030041

Tracking and Linking of Microparticle Trajectories During Mode-Coupling Induced Melting in a Two-Dimensional Complex Plasma Crystal

1
Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E2, Canada
2
CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université, PIIM, UMR 7345, 13397 Marseille CEDEX 20, France
3
Institut für Materialphysik im Weltraum, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), D-82234 Weßling, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 11 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 16 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Image Processing in Soft Condensed Matter)
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Abstract

In this article, a strategy to track microparticles and link their trajectories adapted to the study of the melting of a quasi two-dimensional complex plasma crystal induced by the mode-coupling instability is presented. Because of the three-dimensional nature of the microparticle motions and the inhomogeneities of the illuminating laser light sheet, the scattered light intensity can change significantly between two frames, making the detection of the microparticles and the linking of their trajectories quite challenging. Thanks to a two-pass noise removal process based on Gaussian blurring of the original frames using two different kernel widths, the signal-to-noise ratio was increased to a level that allowed a better intensity thresholding of different regions of the images and, therefore, the tracking of the poorly illuminated microparticles. Then, by predicting the positions of the microparticles based on their previous positions, long particle trajectories could be reconstructed, allowing accurate measurement of the evolution of the microparticle energies and the evolution of the monolayer properties.
Keywords: complex plasma crystals; particle tracking; mode coupling instability complex plasma crystals; particle tracking; mode coupling instability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Couëdel, L.; Nosenko, V. Tracking and Linking of Microparticle Trajectories During Mode-Coupling Induced Melting in a Two-Dimensional Complex Plasma Crystal. J. Imaging 2019, 5, 41.

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