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Field Control of Cold Molecular Collisions

Descrizione del progetto

Un gioco di biliardo quantistico dove i campi elettrici e magnetici fungono da stecche

Riscaldare le cose fa sì che le molecole si «agitino», muovendosi con sempre maggiore frenesia e aumentando le collisioni. Al contrario, raffreddarle le rende inerti. In teoria, allo zero assoluto il movimento cesserebbe completamente. Più ci avviciniamo a questo punto, più esotici sono i comportamenti che osserviamo. Il progetto FICOMOL, finanziato dall’Unione europea, si concentrerà sulle collisioni molecolari tra atomi e molecole ultrafreddi. Il suo ambizioso obiettivo è quello di portarci dall’osservazione al controllo, manipolando le interazioni tra le singole molecole mediante l’utilizzo di campi elettrici o magnetici applicati.

Obiettivo

It is a long held dream of chemical physicists to study (and to control!) the interactions between individual molecules in completely specified collisions. This project brings this goal within reach. I will develop novel methods to study collisions between individual molecules at temperatures between 10 mK and 10 K, and to manipulate their interaction using electric and magnetic fields. Under these cold conditions, the collisions are dominated by quantum effects such as interference and tunneling. Scattering resonances occur that respond sensitively to external electric or magnetic fields, yielding the thrilling perspective to provide “control knobs” to steer the outcome of a collision. Building on my unique experience with state-of-the-art molecular beam deceleration methods, I will study scattering resonances for chemically relevant systems involving molecules such as OH, NO, NH3 and H2CO in crossed beam experiments. Using external electric or magnetic fields, we will tune the positions and widths of resonances, such that collision rates can be changed by orders of magnitude. This type of “collision engineering” will be used to induce and study hitherto unexplored quantum phenomena, such as the merging of individual resonances, and resonant energy transfer in bimolecular collisions. Measurements of exotic collision phenomena under yet unexplored conditions as proposed here provide excellent tests for quantum theories of molecular interactions, and pave the way towards the engineering of novel quantum structures, or the collective properties of interacting molecular systems. The proposed research program will transform this field from merely “probing nature” with the highest possible detail to “manipulating nature” with the highest possible level of control. It will open up a new and intellectually rich research field in chemical physics and physical chemistry, and will be a major breakthrough in the emerging research field of cold molecules.

Meccanismo di finanziamento

ERC-COG - Consolidator Grant

Istituzione ospitante

STICHTING RADBOUD UNIVERSITEIT
Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 2 000 000,00
Indirizzo
HOUTLAAN 4
6525 XZ Nijmegen
Paesi Bassi

Mostra sulla mappa

Regione
Oost-Nederland Gelderland Arnhem/Nijmegen
Tipo di attività
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Collegamenti
Costo totale
€ 2 000 000,00

Beneficiari (1)