Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Watching electrons move in real time

Date:
September 22, 2010
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
A new article describes the emerging technique of X-ray powder diffraction, which has been used to map the movement of electrons in real time and to observe a concerted electron and proton transfer that is quite different from any previously known phase transitions in the model crystal, ammonium sulfate.

At its most basic level, understanding chemistry means understanding what electrons are doing. Research published in The Journal of Chemical Physics not only maps the movement of electrons in real time but also observes a concerted electron and proton transfer that is quite different from any previously known phase transitions in the model crystal, ammonium sulfate.

By extending X-ray powder diffraction into the femtosecond realm, the researchers were able to map the relocation of charges in the ammonium sulfate crystal after they were displaced by photoexcitation.

"Our prototype experiment produces a sort of 'molecular movie' of the atoms in action," says author Michael Woerner of the Max-Born-Institut für Nichtlineare Optik und Kurzzeitspektroskopie in Germany. "The time and spatial resolution is now at atomic time and length scales, respectively."

Electron positions were mapped by observing the diffraction of X-ray pulses lasting tens of femtoseconds (quadrillionth of a second). Positions of protons and other nuclei were deduced from the locations of regions of high electron density. Within the crystal, the excited electrons transferred from the sulfate groups to a tight channel within crystal matrix. This channel was stabilized by the transfer of protons from adjacent ammonium groups into the channel. This transfer mechanism had not been previously observed or proposed, and the researchers had expected to see much smaller displacements.

According to Woerner, the technique should be applicable to structural studies of materials ranging from biomolecules to high-temperature superconductors. "We expect that the technique will be applied to many interesting material systems." He says. "In principle, femtosecond X-ray powder diffraction can be applied to any crystalline form of matter. Only the complexity of crystals and the presence of heavy elements, which reduces the penetration depth of X-rays, set some constraints."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael Woerner, Flavio Zamponi, Zunaira Ansari, Jens Dreyer, Benjamin Freyer, Mirabelle Prémont-Schwarz, Thomas Elsaesser. Concerted electron and proton transfer in ionic crystals mapped by femtosecond x-ray powder diffraction. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 2010; 133 (6): 064509 DOI: 10.1063/1.3469779

Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "Watching electrons move in real time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100921092405.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2010, September 22). Watching electrons move in real time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100921092405.htm
American Institute of Physics. "Watching electrons move in real time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100921092405.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — Argentina doesn't only have Lionel Messi the footballer, it has now also acquired "Mesi" the drone system which monitors undeclared mansions, swimming pools and soy fields to curb tax evasion in the country. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 29, 2014) — CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, celebrates 60 years of bringing nations together through science. As Joanna Partridge reports from inside the famous science centre it's also planning to turn the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator back on after an upgrade. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

Newsy (Sep. 28, 2014) — Researchers from the University of Rochester have created a type of invisibility cloak with simple focal lenses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins