Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Breakthrough laser experiment reveals liquid-like motion of atoms in an ultra-cold cluster: University of Leicester research team unlocks insights into creation of new nano-materials

The experiment was undertaken at Rutherford Appleton Laboratories in the Artemis laser facility using an advanced femtosecond laser system to resolve rotations of complexes. The picture shows a section of the laser system used during the experiments.

Credit: Gediminas Galinis (University of Leicester)
The experiment was undertaken at Rutherford Appleton Laboratories in the Artemis laser facility using an advanced femtosecond laser system to resolve rotations of complexes. The picture shows a section of the laser system used during the experiments.

Credit: Gediminas Galinis (University of Leicester)

Abstract:
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'.

Breakthrough laser experiment reveals liquid-like motion of atoms in an ultra-cold cluster: University of Leicester research team unlocks insights into creation of new nano-materials

Leicester, UK | Posted on July 25th, 2014

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.

About the Journal

Physical Review Letters is the world's foremost physics letters journal, providing rapid publication of short reports of significant fundamental research in all fields of physics. It is published by American Physical Society.

The research team included: Gediminas Galinis, Cephise Cacho, Richard T. Chapman, Andrew M. Ellis, Marius Lewerenz, Luis G. Mendoza Luna, Russell S. Minns, Mirjana Mladenovic, Arnaud Rouzee, Emma Springate, I. C. Edmond Turcu, Mark J. Watkins, Klaus von Haeften.

The six European institutions involved in the study include: University of Leicester, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory; Universite Paris-Est, Laboratoire Modelisation et Simulation Multi Echelle; University of Southampton; and the Max Born Institute.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Gediminas Galinis

Copyright © University of Leicester

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 Links

The paper is available here:

Related News Press

News and information

Metal oxide sandwiches: New option to manipulate properties of interfaces February 8th, 2016

Canadian physicists discover new properties of superconductivity February 8th, 2016

Leading bugs to the death chamber: A kinder face of cholesterol February 8th, 2016

From allergens to anodes: Pollen derived battery electrodes February 8th, 2016

Molecular Machines

'Spermbots' could help women trying to conceive (video) January 15th, 2016

Scientists blueprint tiny cellular 'nanomachine' December 17th, 2015

Nano-walkers take speedy leap forward with first rolling DNA-based motor: Fastest DNA motor holds potential for disease diagnostics December 1st, 2015

Rice makes light-driven nanosubmarines: Speedy single-molecule submersibles are a first November 16th, 2015

Molecular Nanotechnology

A fast solidification process makes material crackle February 8th, 2016

Nanodevice, build thyself: Researchers in Germany studied how a multitude of electronic interactions govern the encounter between a molecule called porphine and copper and silver surfaces January 18th, 2016

Nano-walkers take speedy leap forward with first rolling DNA-based motor: Fastest DNA motor holds potential for disease diagnostics December 1st, 2015

Rice makes light-driven nanosubmarines: Speedy single-molecule submersibles are a first November 16th, 2015

Discoveries

A fast solidification process makes material crackle February 8th, 2016

Metal oxide sandwiches: New option to manipulate properties of interfaces February 8th, 2016

Canadian physicists discover new properties of superconductivity February 8th, 2016

Leading bugs to the death chamber: A kinder face of cholesterol February 8th, 2016

Announcements

Metal oxide sandwiches: New option to manipulate properties of interfaces February 8th, 2016

Canadian physicists discover new properties of superconductivity February 8th, 2016

Leading bugs to the death chamber: A kinder face of cholesterol February 8th, 2016

From allergens to anodes: Pollen derived battery electrodes February 8th, 2016

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

A fast solidification process makes material crackle February 8th, 2016

Canadian physicists discover new properties of superconductivity February 8th, 2016

Leading bugs to the death chamber: A kinder face of cholesterol February 8th, 2016

From allergens to anodes: Pollen derived battery electrodes February 8th, 2016

Research partnerships

A fast solidification process makes material crackle February 8th, 2016

Scientists take key step toward custom-made nanoscale chemical factories: Berkeley Lab researchers part of team that creates new function in tiny protein shell structures February 6th, 2016

Polar vortices observed in ferroelectric: New state of matter holds promise for ultracompact data storage and processing February 4th, 2016

Spin dynamics in an atomically thin semi-conductor February 1st, 2016

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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic