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A device for precision neutralization of electric charge of small drops using ionized air

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7 Author(s)
Fan, Sewan ; Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94309 ; Kim, Peter C. ; Lee, Eric R. ; Lee, Irwin T.
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For use in our Millikan type liquid drop searches for fractional charge elementary particles we have developed a simple ionized air device for neutralizing a narrow stream of small drops. The neutralizer has been used for drops ranging in diameter from 10 to 25 μm. The width of the produced charge distribution is given by the Boltzmann equilibrium charge distribution and the mean of the distribution is set by a bias voltage. Using the bias voltage, the mean can be set with a precision of better than e, the electron charge. The use of the neutralizer is illustrated in an application to mineral oil drops produced with charges of the order of 1000e. We also show the interesting case of silicone oil drops that are produced in our drop generator with a charge distribution narrower than the Boltzmann equilibrium charge distribution, the charge distribution being broadened by the neutralizer. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:74 ,  Issue: 10 )

Date of Publication:

Oct 2003

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