An international team of physicists has succeeded in mapping the condensation of individual atoms, or rather their transition from a gaseous state to another state, using a new method. Led by the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Basel, the team was able to monitor for the first time how xenon atoms condensate in microscopic measuring beakers, or quantum wells, thereby enabling key conclusions to be drawn as to the nature of atomic bonding. The researchers published their results in the journal Nature Communications.
The team headed by Professor Thomas Jung, which consists of researchers from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, Department of Physics at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute, developed a method enabling the condensation of individual atoms to be mapped on a step by step basis for the first time. The researchers allowed atoms of the noble gas xenon to condensate in quantum wells and monitored the resulting accumulations using a scanning tunneling microscope.
Quantum wells as beakers
The autonomous organization of specifically 'programmed' molecules facilitates the creation of a porous network on a substrate surface – these are the quantum wells used as measuring beakers with a specifically defined size, shape and atomic wall and floor structure. The atoms' freedom of movement is restricted in the quantum wells, allowing the arrangement of the atoms to be closely monitored and mapped depending on the composition.
With this data, the researchers were able to show that the xenon atoms always arrange themselves according to a certain principle. For example, some units consisting of four atoms are only formed when there are at least seven atoms in the quantum well. And if there are twelve atoms in the quantum well, this results in the creation of three highly stable four-atom units.
Conclusions about the nature of bonding
The images and structures of nano-condensates recorded for the first time allow key conclusions to be drawn as to the nature of the physical bonds formed by the xenon atoms. "But this system is not restricted exclusively to noble gases," says Sylwia Nowakowska, lead author of the publication. "We can also use it to research other atoms and the way that they bond." As the newly developed method accurately maps atomic bonding and determines the stability of the various states, it can also be used to verify theoretical calculations about bonds.
The results of the study are based on a collaboration between researchers from Switzerland, Brazil, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, and were published in the current issue of the scientific journal Nature Communications.
Prof. Thomas Jung, Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI), University of Basel, cell:+41 79 222 45 36 , email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Olivia Poisson | Universität Basel
What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
18.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin
Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino
16.07.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
18.07.2018 | Life Sciences
18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine