One of the fastest phenomenon of electronic dynamics
The journal Nature publishes this week a study of electronic dynamics (“Direct observation of electron dynamics in the attosecond domain”). The participants of this study, together with other researchers, have been professors Daniel Sánchez-Portal and Pedro Miguel Etxenike from the Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC).
A researcher group of various German laboratories has done the experimental part of the study, and the theoretical explanation based on quantum physics of what has been observed has been done in DIPC (San Sebastian).
This work answers the following question: How long does it take an electron to travel from an atom to the next atom? The main conclusion is that the time required is much shorter than the time it could be measured until now. This study analyses the dynamics of electrons in the case of sulphur atoms laid on metal surfaces (ruthenium). Electrons jump from the sulphur to the metallic surface in 320 attoseconds approximately (1 attosecond is equivalent to 0,000000000000000001 seconds). In order to have an idea how small this number is, we could say that one attosecond at one second would be what a second would be at the age of the universe (about 14,000 millions of years).
The main innovation of this work consists on the possibility to measure a charge transference time between an atom and a surface at attoseconds, and at the same time, two theory physicists of the University of the Basque Country (EHU) have worked out details of the process by means of quantum mechanics. This phenomenon is one of the fastest ever seen directly in the solid state physics, and it shows it is possible to obtain information about the dynamics of electrons with great resolution. In order to achieve such resolution it is necessary to use a precise measurement "device", in this case, a clock that provides electronic transitions within the same atom.
The question about the time electrons require to travel between different atomic centres is very important for several phenomena. It is important to optimise the design of materials that will constitute future electronic devices (areas of nanoelectronic and molecular electronic). Particularly, the technique used allows to distinguish among different values of the electronic “spin” (giromagnetic ratio), and this opens new areas of study in the field of “spintronic”, a new electronics in which the key factor is not the electron charge as in the conventional electronics, but the spin. Charge transference processes are also essential for life (photosynthesis), energy production (photovoltaic cells) and, in general, for the photochemistry and electrochemistry.
Irati Kortabitarte | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...