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A Helium Nanodroplet Instrument for Infrared Spectroscopy of Molecular Ions

Travis Jones, speaker
Travis Jones
Graduate Student, Department of Chemistry
University of Georgia
Chemistry Building, Room 553
Physical Seminar

Helium nanodroplets provide a cold, inert, and optically transparent environment for doping atomic and molecular species. Helium's weak interaction with dopants is minimally perturbing, and facilitates the collection of high-resolution vibrational and rotational spectra. An instrument was designed that facilitates the ionization of dopant molecules using resonant two-photon ionization. Excitation of the molecular ions then occurs using a tunable OPO/OPA infrared laser. Dissipation of the excitation energy is coupled to the helium nanodroplet environment, evaporating all helium atoms, providing background-free IR spectra collected from a time-of-flight mass spectrometer as a function of laser frequency.

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