Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Thermal Radiation from Tiny Particles

22.06.2018

Researchers from Greifswald and Heidelberg have succeeded in performing time-resolved measurements of the internal energy distribution of stored clusters. The clusters investigated consisted of four cobalt atoms and an additional electron. Christian Breitenfeldt, a physicist at the University of Greifswald, presents, with his colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, the direct observation of the radiative heat exchange of these nanoparticles with their environment in the journal Physical Review Letters.

You do not have to touch a hot stove to feel its heat. If it is hot enough, you can see it glow. But, even at lower temperature it still emits light – although not visible to the human eye, but in the form of infrared rays.


Schematic of delayed electron emission after photoexcitation of a negatively charged four-atom cobalt cluster.

Drawing: Lutz Schweikhard

We have known the radiation laws for the objects of daily life as well as for celestial bodies like our sun since the studies of Max Planck, for which he received the Nobel Prize for physics of 1918. Isolated atoms also emit electromagnetic waves, according to very different, but also well-known laws. However, the details of radiative cooling of clusters – nanoparticles made of just a few atoms or molecules – have still not been clarified completely.

This topic is being approached by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, (MPIK) in collaboration with the University of Greifswald. As part of his doctoral work, Christian Breitenfeldt, a member of the research group led by Prof. Lutz Schweikhard in Greifswald, used the electrostatic ion-beam trap CTF (Cryogenic Trap for Fast Ion Beams) at MPIK’s scientific division led by Prof. Klaus Blaum, under the supervision of Prof. Andreas Wolf and Dr. Sebastian George.

The studies were performed with nanoparticles made of four cobalt atoms. These cobalt clusters were produced as negatively charged ions, i.e. with an additional electron, and captured in the CTF. Essentially, the trap consists of a pair of ion optical mirrors between which the stored ions bounce in an ultrahigh vacuum – which is very similar to a device that was developed in Greifswald and used extensively for precision mass measurements of exotic atomic nuclei at CERN.

If a nanoparticle has some thermal energy, i.e. ‘internal energy’ stored in the vibration of its atoms, the energy can be transferred to the electron. This can lead to the emission of the electron – sooner or later, depending on the amount of internal energy. As the cluster is no longer electrically charged, it is also stored no longer. After leaving the trap, it can be traced by a detector.

The aim of the experiments was to monitor the electron detachment in a time-resolved manner and to reconstruct the temporal development of the thermal distribution of the clusters’ internal energy. To this end, the clusters were irradiated with laser light of various wavelengths, i.e. at different photon energies. The electron emission, as a function of laser wavelength, served as a probe for the energy distribution of the stored cobalt clusters.

The internal energy distribution was probed 20 times per second over periods of six seconds, i.e. each series consisted of 120 measurements. This allowed the researchers to monitor the temporal development of the clusters’ thermal energy. It led to the reconstruction of the energy exchange by thermal radiation between the clusters and their environment, in this case the vacuum vessel, which was at room temperature.

If the clusters had a high level of internal energy at the beginning of the storage time, cooling was observed. In contrast, when the clusters came from a particularly cold cluster ion source, which was contributed to these measurements by a research group from the University of Kaiserslautern, the clusters were observed to warm up over time. In both cases, the clusters tried to gain an equilibrium in the flow of thermal radiation, i.e. to reach the environmental temperature of the experimental setup.

Both cooling and heating by thermal radiation are important aspects with respect to the stability of nanoparticles in free space. Under space conditions – in the ‘interstellar’ medium between the stars – the environmental temperature can be very low.

Thus, having gained these first results, follow-up experiments are currently being performed where these processes are being investigated at much lower temperatures, just a few degrees above absolute zero. To achieve this, the cryogenic storage ring CSR is being applied, which started work recently at the Max-Planck-Institute of Nuclear Physics.

The experiments currently being performed – again using negative four-atomic cobalt clusters – have already shown that the energy exchange via thermal radiation slows down significantly at very low temperatures. The long storage duration of ions in the CSR (up to hours) are proving to be of particular advantage for the investigation of molecules and clusters under interstellar conditions.

The results on the radiative cooling and heating of small cobalt clusters were published in the journal Physical Review Letters 120, 253001 – Published 21 June 2018
Long-term monitoring of the internal energy distribution of isolated cluster systems
C. Breitenfeldt, K. Blaum, S. George, J. Göck, G. Guzmán-Ramírez, J. Karthein, T. Kolling, M. Lange, S. Menk, C. Meyer, J. Mohrbach, G. Niedner-Schatteburg, D. Schwalm, L. Schweikhard, A. Wolf
https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.253001
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.253001
Extended press release in German: https://physik.uni-greifswald.de/ag-schweikhard/further-links/press-releases/

Contacts
Dr. Sebastian George
Institute of Physics, University of Greifswald
Research Group ‘Atomic and Molecular Physics’
Felix-Hausdorff-Straße 6, 17489 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 420 4700
sebastian.george@uni-greifswald.de
https://physik.uni-greifswald.de/ag-schweikhard/group-members/george/

Prof. Dr. Lutz Schweikhard
Institute of Physics, University of Greifswald
Research Group ‘Atomic and Molecular Physics’
Felix-Hausdorff-Straße 6, 17489 Greifswald
Tel.: +49 3834 420 4700
lschweik@physik.uni-greifswald.de
https://physik.uni-greifswald.de/ag-schweikhard/
http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Lutz_Schweikhard

Prof. Dr. Andreas Wolf
Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics
Department ‘Stored and Cooled Ions’
Saupfercheckweg 1, 69117 Heidelberg
Tel.: +49 6221 516 851
andreas.wolf@mpi-hd.mpg.de
https://www.mpi-hd.mpg.de/blaum/members/molecular-qd/wolf.de.html

Prof. Dr. Gereon Niedner-Schatteburg
Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry,
University of Kaiserslautern
Erwin-Schrödinger-Straße 52, 67663 Kaiserslautern
Tel.: +49 631 205 2536
gns@chemie.uni-kl.de
https://www.chemie.uni-kl.de/gns/

Jan Meßerschmidt | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Quantum gas turns supersolid
23.04.2019 | Universität Innsbruck

nachricht Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun
18.04.2019 | University of Warwick

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: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Marine Skin dives deeper for better monitoring

23.04.2019 | Information Technology

Geomagnetic jerks finally reproduced and explained

23.04.2019 | Earth Sciences

Overlooked molecular machine in cell nucleus may hold key to treating aggressive leukemia

23.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>