Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Insight into Molecular Processes

22.11.2018

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.


2D-spectroscopy illustrates the light-induced reactions of Rubidium molecules in various color spectrums. Illustration: Lukas Bruder

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).

Original publication:

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

Caption:
2D-spectroscopy illustrates the light-induced reactions of Rubidium molecules in various color spectrums. Illustration: Lukas Bruder

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Frank Stienkemeier
Institute of Physics
University of Freiburg
Tel.: +49 761 203-7609
E-Mail: stienkemeier@uni-freiburg.de

Originalpublikation:

https://www.pr.uni-freiburg.de/pm-en/press-releases-2018/new-insight-into-molecu...

Rudolf-Werner Dreier | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht New method gives microscope a boost in resolution
10.12.2018 | Rudolf-Virchow-Zentrum für Experimentelle Biomedizin der Universität Würzburg

nachricht A new 'spin' on kagome lattices
10.12.2018 | Boston College

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

Im Focus: The force of the vacuum

Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.

The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Small but ver­sat­ile; key play­ers in the mar­ine ni­tro­gen cycle can util­ize cy­anate and urea

10.12.2018 | Life Sciences

New method gives microscope a boost in resolution

10.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Carnegie Mellon researchers probe hydrogen bonds using new technique

10.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>