Freiburg researchers are applying 2D-spectroscopy to isolated molecular systems for the first time
A research team headed by Prof. Dr. Frank Stienkemeier and Dr. Lukas Bruder of the University of Freiburg’s Institute of Physics has succeeded for the first time in applying 2D-spectroscopy to isolated molecular systems and thus in tracing the interactive processes at a molecular level more precisely.
The team has published its results in the science journal “Nature Communications”.
Behind every natural process are processes at atomic and molecular levels. These often take place on very short time scales, often they are faster than a billionth of a second and are based on the interplay of many factors.
Until now this has made it difficult to unencrypt the precise microscopic mechanisms such as the conversion of energy in photovoltaics or photosynthesis.
In this area of research coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy has been established, which involves ultra-short laser pulses being shot at the matter. This method has enabled researchers to follow the dynamics of corresponding processes, once the matter has absorbed the light.
Two-dimensional spectroscopy provides a far greater amount of information than other methods, combined with a high time resolution in the range of femtoseconds – a femtosecond is the millionth part of a billionth of a second.
However, for technical reasons, this method had until now been restricted to studying bulk liquid or solid material. “In previous experiments the samples were very complex, which made it extremely difficult to isolate individual quantum-mechanical effects and study them precisely. Our approach overcomes this hurdle,” explains Bruder, who headed the experiment.
In preparation for the experiment, the scientists produced superfluid helium droplets, which have no friction, in an ultrahigh vacuum. The droplets are only a few nanometers in size and serve as a substrate in which the researchers synthesize the actual molecular structures using a modular principle, in other words by combining molecular components one by one.
These structures are then studied by means of 2D-spectroscopy. “In the experiments we combined various specific technologies which drastically improved the measurement sensitivity of the 2D-spectroscopy. Only by doing this was it possible for us to study isolated molecules,” explains Bruder.
In an initial study, the Freiburg scientists produced extremely cold molecules of the chemical element Rubidium in an unusual quantum state, whereby the atoms of the molecule are only weakly bonded, and analyzed their light-induced reactions under the influence of the helium environment.
“Our approach opens up a range of applications, specifically in the field of photovoltaics or optoelectronics, and will eventually contribute to a better understanding of fundamental processes,” says Stienkemeier.
The 2D-spectroscopy research project was funded as part of the International Graduate School “CoCo”, which was established by the German Research Foundation, and the “COCONIS” project of the European Research Council (ERC).
L. Bruder, U. Bangert, M. Binz, D. Uhl, R. Vexiau, N. Bouloufa-Maafa, O. Dulieu, and F. Stienkemeier: Coherent multidimensional spectroscopy of dilute gas-phase nanosystems. Nature Communications 9, 4823 (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07292-w
2D-spectroscopy illustrates the light-induced reactions of Rubidium molecules in various color spectrums. Illustration: Lukas Bruder
Prof. Dr. Frank Stienkemeier
Institute of Physics
University of Freiburg
Tel.: +49 761 203-7609
Rudolf-Werner Dreier | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Exotic spiraling electrons discovered by physicists
19.02.2019 | Rutgers University
Astronomers publish new sky map detecting hundreds of thousands of previously unknown galaxies
19.02.2019 | Universität Bielefeld
Up to now, OLEDs have been used exclusively as a novel lighting technology for use in luminaires and lamps. However, flexible organic technology can offer much more: as an active lighting surface, it can be combined with a wide variety of materials, not just to modify but to revolutionize the functionality and design of countless existing products. To exemplify this, the Fraunhofer FEP together with the company EMDE development of light GmbH will be presenting hybrid flexible OLEDs integrated into textile designs within the EU-funded project PI-SCALE for the first time at LOPEC (March 19-21, 2019 in Munich, Germany) as examples of some of the many possible applications.
The Fraunhofer FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, has long been involved in the development of...
For the first time, an international team of scientists based in Regensburg, Germany, has recorded the orbitals of single molecules in different charge states in a novel type of microscopy. The research findings are published under the title “Mapping orbital changes upon electron transfer with tunneling microscopy on insulators” in the prestigious journal “Nature”.
The building blocks of matter surrounding us are atoms and molecules. The properties of that matter, however, are often not set by these building blocks...
Scientists at the University of Konstanz identify fierce competition between the human immune system and bacterial pathogens
Cell biologists from the University of Konstanz shed light on a recent evolutionary process in the human immune system and publish their findings in the...
Laser physicists have taken snapshots of carbon molecules C₆₀ showing how they transform in intense infrared light
When carbon molecules C₆₀ are exposed to an intense infrared light, they change their ball-like structure to a more elongated version. This has now been...
The so-called Abelian sandpile model has been studied by scientists for more than 30 years to better understand a physical phenomenon called self-organized...
11.02.2019 | Event News
30.01.2019 | Event News
16.01.2019 | Event News
20.02.2019 | Life Sciences
20.02.2019 | Medical Engineering
20.02.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering