Aarhus University Seal

Department of Chemistry Seminar Series: Professor Bas van de Meerakker, Raboud University, the Netherlands (Host: Henrik Stapelfeldt)

Cold and controlled collisions using tamed molecular beams

Info about event


Thursday 11 May 2023,  at 15:00 - 16:00


1514-213, Aud I, Department of Chemistry, Langelandsgade 140

15:00-15:15       Coffee & cake in the foyer
15:15-16:00       Scientific talk
16:15-17:00       Q&A session for PhD students and master students

Prof. Bas van de Meerakker, Radboud University: https://www.ru.nl/scm/


The study of molecular collisions with the highest possible detail has been an important research theme in physical chemistry for decades. Experimentally, the level of detail obtained in these studies depends on the quality of preparation of the collision partners before the collision, and on how accurately the products are analyzed afterward.
Over the last years, methods have been developed to get improved control over molecules in a molecular beam. With the Stark decelerator, a part of a molecular beam can be selected to produce bunches of molecules with a computer-controlled velocity and with longitudinal temperatures as low as a few mK [1]. The molecular packets that emerge from the decelerator have small spatial and angular spreads, and have almost perfect quantum state purity. These tamed molecular beams are excellent starting points for high-resolution crossed beam scattering experiments.
I will illustrate the possibilities this new technology offers to study molecular collisions with unprecedented precision and at low collision energies. I will discuss our most recent results on the combination of Stark deceleration and velocity map imaging. The narrow velocity spread of Stark-decelerated beams results in scattering images with an unprecedented sharpness and angular resolution. This has facilitated the observation several elusive quantum effects in state-to-state cross sections. Finally, I will present recent results on bimolecular collisions at collision energies down to 0.1 cm-1 obtained by merged beam configurations.