Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First step taken to image ultra-fast movements in chemical reactions

Date:
March 16, 2012
Source:
Institute of Physics (IOP)
Summary:
Researchers have fired ultra-fast shots of light at oxygen, nitrogen and carbon monoxide molecules as part of a development aimed at mapping the astonishingly quick movements of atoms within molecules, as well as the charges that surround them. The ultra-short laser that spans only a few hundred attoseconds – an attosecond is equivalent to one quintillionth of a second – was fired in a sample of molecules and could pave the way towards imaging the movement of atoms and their electrons as they undergo a chemical reaction – one of the holy grails of chemistry research.

A team of international researchers have fired ultra-fast shots of light at oxygen, nitrogen and carbon monoxide molecules as part of a development aimed at mapping the astonishingly quick movements of atoms within molecules, as well as the charges that surround them.

The ultra-short laser that spans only a few hundred attoseconds -- an attosecond is equivalent to one quintillionth of a second -- was fired in a sample of molecules and could pave the way towards imaging the movement of atoms and their electrons as they undergo a chemical reaction -- one of the holy grails of chemistry research.

This latest study has been published today, 16 March, as part of a special issue on attosecond science, in IOP Publishing's Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics to mark the 10th anniversary of the first ever attosecond laser pulse.

Previous research has been able to probe the structure of molecules using a variety of techniques; however, the inherent challenge is to perform these experiments in systems where changes are rapidly occurring on very small time scales.

The researchers used two lasers in their experiments: the first held the molecule in place whilst the second was fired at it. The second laser operated in the extreme ultra-violet region of the electromagnetic spectrum as this is one of only two regions -- x-ray being the other -- where the laws of physics allow laser pulses to be produced on an attosecond timescale.

Once the target molecule was in place, short pulses of the laser were fired at in an attempt to dislodge an electron. This process, known as photoionization, allows atoms and molecules to be imaged in unprecedented detail as the ejected electrons carry crucial information about where it came from.

In this experiment, the samples, which existed as a gas, were stable, meaning no reactions were taking place; however, the major goal of the research team is to monitor the electrical and molecular changes, in real-time, that occur as atoms undergo a chemical reaction.

They intend to do this by triggering a reaction with the laser, breaking a chemical bond that holds molecules together, and then using the described technique to image the changes that occur in the molecule as they happen.

Lead author of the study Dr Arnaud Rouzιe from the Max-Born-Institute said: "We show that the photoelectron spectra recorded for a small molecule, such as oxygen, nitrogen and carbon monoxide contains a wealth of information about electron orbitals and the underlying molecular structure.

"This is a proof-of-principle experiment that electrons ejected within the molecule can be used to monitor ultrafast electronic and atomic motion."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Arnaud Rouzιe, Freek Kelkensberg, Wing Kiu Siu, Georg Gademann, Robert R Lucchese, Marc J J Vrakking. Photoelectron kinetic and angular distributions for the ionization of aligned molecules using a HHG source. Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, 2012; 45 (7): 074016 DOI: 10.1088/0953-4075/45/7/074016

Cite This Page:

Institute of Physics (IOP). "First step taken to image ultra-fast movements in chemical reactions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120316094019.htm>.
Institute of Physics (IOP). (2012, March 16). First step taken to image ultra-fast movements in chemical reactions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120316094019.htm
Institute of Physics (IOP). "First step taken to image ultra-fast movements in chemical reactions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120316094019.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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