Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Lasers pushing the limits: The dissociation of nitrogen molecules by a free-electron laser signals a departure for more extreme light-matter interacti

Figure 1: Various phenomena observed in molecules with increasingly intense optical laser fields. 
From Yamanouchi, K. The next frontier. Science 295, 1660 (2002). Reprinted with permission from AAAS (www.sciencemag.org)
Figure 1: Various phenomena observed in molecules with increasingly intense optical laser fields.
From Yamanouchi, K. The next frontier. Science 295, 1660 (2002). Reprinted with permission from AAAS (www.sciencemag.org)

Abstract:
When matter is hit by a laser-beam, the effects on the molecules can be dramatic, particularly for short pulses of high-intensity radiation. In a quest to push the limits of intensity to achieve extreme light-matter interactions in large molecules, a team of researchers from RIKEN's Advanced Science Institute in Wako, the SPring-8 Center in Harima, and the University of Tokyo, has demonstrated the ionisation and consequently the dissociation of nitrogen molecules using a free-electron laser.

Lasers pushing the limits: The dissociation of nitrogen molecules by a free-electron laser signals a departure for more extreme light-matter interacti

Japan | Posted on September 12th, 2008

Laser radiation is an electromagnetic wave that oscillates along a laser beam. These oscillating electromagnetic fields can exert strong forces on the electrons in a molecule, particularly at the very short wavelengths in the extreme ultraviolet (XUV) part of the spectrum. At high laser intensities, the influence on molecules increases, leading to a so-called Coulomb explosion (Fig. 1).

A Coulomb explosion is a process where the force exerted by the laser field is so strong on electrons in a molecule that an electron gets ejected and leaves positively charged ions. These ions strongly repel each other and the molecule quickly dissociates. However, few experimental studies on this process have been reported and "little is understood concerning the interaction of intense high-frequency light in the XUV with atoms and molecules," comments Katsumi Midorikawa from the research team.

So far, Coulomb explosions have been observed in hydrogen, deuterium and even in the much heavier nitrogen molecules using so-called higher harmonic laser sources. Experiments using these laser sources reach the limits available with such technology owing to the amount of laser power that is required. Now, the team has demonstrated a Coulomb explosion of nitrogen molecules using the XUV free electron laser (XUV-FEL) at the SPring-8 site1.

The researchers focused laser light of extremely short wavelengths of only 50 nm on nitrogen gas. They found that each nitrogen atom absorbs two light particles from the beam, providing sufficient energy to eject an electron, so that N2 is transformed into the highly unstable N22+ molecule. Because of the strong repulsive forces, the two nitrogen ions separated. The detection of individual N+ atoms provides conclusive evidence that a Coulomb explosion occurred.

Achieving a Coulomb explosion in this way is significant because, as Midorikawa comments, "the XUV-FEL laser has the potential to produce much higher beam intensities that will allow a much better study of the interaction of matter with strong electromagnetic fields." Indeed, experiments on larger molecules will commence once the XUV-FEL facility reaches full capacity.
Reference

1. Sato, T., Okino, T., Yamanouchi, K., Yagishita, A., Kannari, F., Yamakawa, K., Midorikawa, K., Nakano, H., Yabashi, M., Nagasono, M. & Ishikawa, T. Dissociative two-photon ionization of N2 in extreme ultraviolet by intense self-amplified spontaneous emission free electron laser light. Applied Physics Letters 92, 154103 (2008).

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Riken

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Gold standards for nanoparticles: Understanding how small organic ions stabilize gold nanoparticles may allow for better control March 29th, 2017

Tiny sensor lays groundwork for precision X-rays detection via endoscopy:Nanoscale fiber-integrated X-ray sensor opens new doors for medical imaging and radiotherapy March 29th, 2017

Researchers uncover secret of nanomaterial that makes harvesting sunlight easier March 29th, 2017

Information storage with a nanoscale twist: Discovery of a novel rotational force inside magnetic vortices makes it easier to design ultrahigh capacity disk drives March 28th, 2017

Physics

Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms: In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport February 20th, 2017

Research reveals novel quantum state in strange insulating materials February 14th, 2017

Sorting machine for atoms:Researchers at the University of Bonn clear a further hurdle on the path to creating quantum computers February 10th, 2017

The shape of melting in two dimensions: University of Michigan team uses Titan to explore fundamental phase transitions February 2nd, 2017

Discoveries

Gold standards for nanoparticles: Understanding how small organic ions stabilize gold nanoparticles may allow for better control March 29th, 2017

Tiny sensor lays groundwork for precision X-rays detection via endoscopy:Nanoscale fiber-integrated X-ray sensor opens new doors for medical imaging and radiotherapy March 29th, 2017

Researchers uncover secret of nanomaterial that makes harvesting sunlight easier March 29th, 2017

Information storage with a nanoscale twist: Discovery of a novel rotational force inside magnetic vortices makes it easier to design ultrahigh capacity disk drives March 28th, 2017

Announcements

Gold standards for nanoparticles: Understanding how small organic ions stabilize gold nanoparticles may allow for better control March 29th, 2017

Tiny sensor lays groundwork for precision X-rays detection via endoscopy:Nanoscale fiber-integrated X-ray sensor opens new doors for medical imaging and radiotherapy March 29th, 2017

Researchers uncover secret of nanomaterial that makes harvesting sunlight easier March 29th, 2017

Information storage with a nanoscale twist: Discovery of a novel rotational force inside magnetic vortices makes it easier to design ultrahigh capacity disk drives March 28th, 2017

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Electro-optical switch transmits data at record-low temperatures: Operating at temperatures near absolute zero, switch could enable significantly faster data processing with lower power consumption March 20th, 2017

AIM Photonics Welcomes Coventor as Newest Member: US-Backed Initiative Taps Process Modeling Specialist to Enable Manufacturing of High-Yield, High-Performance Integrated Photonic Designs March 16th, 2017

Optical fingerprint can reveal pollutants in the air: Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology have proposed a new, sophisticated method of detecting molecules with sensors based on ultra-thin nanomaterials March 15th, 2017

MIPT physicists predict the existence of unusual optical composites March 10th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project