Navigation Links
Breakthrough laser experiment reveals liquid-like motion of atoms in an ultra-cold cluster
Date:7/25/2014

A new study by researchers from the University of Leicester has furthered our understanding of how tiny nanosystems function, unlocking the potential to create new materials using nanosized 'building blocks'.

The study, which has been published in the prestigious academic journal Physical Review Letters, used a novel laser technique to examine in rich detail the structure and internal atomic motion of a small cluster containing an acetylene molecule and a single helium atom.

The technique excited single clusters and generated rotational wavepackets, which are composed of multiple waves illustrating the individual motion of atoms. The team were able to track these wavepackets in real time up to one nanosecond over many rotations.

The wavepacket method used by the team provides greater detail of the structure of clusters than traditional spectroscopic techniques, improving our understanding of small systems and allowing for the creation of new man-made materials in a lab setting.

The research forms part of the PhD thesis of University of Leicester student Gediminas Galinis, a key contributor of the project, and has been performed in collaboration with seven research groups from six European institutions who provided vital expertise and were led by the University of Leicester Physics group.

Gediminas said: "During this project we used a combination of laser beams to excite rotations in small clusters comprising a molecule and a helium atom. We found that the helium atom rotates and vibrates almost freely, occupying nearly the entire volume within the cluster. Hence, the cluster does not have a rigid structure - it behaves rather like a liquid.

"The extension of this technique to other complex systems where weak interactions take place is theoretically possible. The approach may also have the potential for exploring liquids, such as superfluid helium, where the binding forces are similarly sensitive.

"The research was very challenging but also a great opportunity as I could work with scientists from various fields and from different countries."

Using the wavepacket technique, the research team from the University of Leicester's Department of Physics and Astronomy have successfully controlled the rotation and vibration of an acetylene molecule and single helium atom complex without destroying it. The same method could theoretically be applied to other clusters.

Dr Klaus von Haeften, Reader in Nanoscience at the University of Leicester, who supervised the research, said: "This result became possible through the collaboration of an international team of researchers from six different European institutions. The team comprised experts on the generation of rotational wavepackets using lasers, the formation of weakly-bound molecular clusters and theorists to assist the experimentalist in the interpretation of the data.

"This research will enhance our fundamental knowledge of the nanoscale system and can now take many different directions in the fields of physics and chemistry. Ultimately, the knowledge gained through our work will enable the design of novel materials based on nanoscale building blocks. These materials may show entirely new physical properties or catalyse chemical reactions that were otherwise impossible.

"This knowledge is important in enhancing our fundamental understanding of physical principles but also for applications of nanostructures in chemistry."

The work paves the way for future studies of nanoscale systems, allowing for a better understanding of how the properties of materials evolve with size and complexity, such as with an increasing number of atoms added to a cluster.

The study, entitled 'Probing the structure and dynamics of molecular complexes using rotational wavepackets', was published in the academic journal Physical Review Letters on Friday 25 July.


'/>"/>
Contact: Gediminas Galinis
gg97@leicester.ac.uk
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. Technion Breakthrough Opens New Avenues In Search For Alzheimers Cure
2. Science Magazine: Cancer Immunotherapy is the Medical Breakthrough of 2013; The CBCD Highlights the Link between Immunotherapy and Microcompetition
3. Organic mega flow battery promises breakthrough for renewable energy
4. Telomere Biosciences Announces: TELO-100 with T-Activator 150, a Breakthrough in Telomere Science and Age Management
5. Important breakthrough in identifying effect of epilepsy treatment
6. QB3 and JPMorgan Chase Announce Breakthrough Collaboration
7. Breakthrough in study of aluminum should yield new technological advances
8. Researchers discover breakthrough technique that could make electronics smaller and better
9. Breakthrough in sensing at the nanoscale
10. Memory breakthrough could bring faster computing, smaller memory devices and lower power consumption
11. Lawrence Livermore engineering team makes breakthrough in solar energy research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Breakthrough laser experiment reveals liquid-like motion of atoms in an ultra-cold cluster
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016  Spherix Incorporated (Nasdaq: SPEX ) -- an intellectual ... of intellectual property, today provided an update on the ... District of Texas and announcing ... Inter Partes Re-examination ("IPR") proceedings that VTech and ... was initiated on only certain claims of two of ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... ... leading supplier of Semantic Graph Database technology has been recognized As “ Best ... by Corporate America Magazine. , “At Corporate America, it’s our priority to showcase ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... February 04, 2016 , ... Many ... for over 10 years. What sets them apart from other cuvette manufacturers ... is posted on their website. On top of this steady flow of inside ...
(Date:2/3/2016)...  Discovery Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: DSCO ), ... surfactant therapies for respiratory diseases, today announced that ... award as a component of employment compensation for ... and Chief Executive Officer.  The award was approved ... 2016 and granted as an inducement material to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:1/28/2016)... Calif., Jan. 28, 2016 Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), ... for its second quarter ended December 31, 2015. ... quarter of fiscal 2016 increased 2 percent compared to the comparable ... quarter of fiscal 2016 was $35.0 million, or $0.93 per diluted ... net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 grew 9 ...
(Date:1/25/2016)... , Jan. 25, 2016  Glencoe Software, the world-leading ... and publication industries, will provide the data management solution ... (NPSC). ... Phenotypic analysis measures the ... organisms, allowing comparisons between states such as health and ...
(Date:1/21/2016)... , January 21, 2016 ... a new market research report "Emotion Detection and Recognition ... Software Tools (Facial Expression, Voice Recognition and Others), ... Global forecast to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the ... to reach USD 22.65 Billion by 2020, at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):