A LBTD Source for Gas-Phase Studies of Fragile Biomolecules

Tuesday 7 May 2024, 4:30 pm
PhD student
S. Wang MSc.
prof. dr. S.Y.T. van de Meerakker
dr. D.A. Horke

Biomolecules, as fundamental building blocks of living organisms, have garnered significant attention from scientists. For physical scientists, studying them in the gas phase is preferred, as the vacuum environment offers an 'ideal' setting for experiments that can be compared with theoretical studies. However, delivering intact biomolecules from the solid phase into the gas phase using traditional heating methods is challenging due to their fragile nature. To address this, we employed a new method known as laser-based thermal desorption source, which utilizes a continuous-wave laser to introduce fragile biomolecules into the gas phase. This continuous source can be combined with a high-repetition rate femtosecond laser, enabling the study of photofragmentation of even thermally labile biomolecules at extremely high data rates. This allows for detailed investigations of power dependencies and fragmentation onsets, providing a 'fingerprint' of a particular molecular system. Additionally, by adjusting the time delay between two ionization lasers, the time-resolved photofragmentation dynamics can be studied.

Siwen Wang (1993) obtained her Master's degree in Chemical Physics in 2019 from University of Science and Technology of China. In the same year, she joined the group of dr. Daniel A. Horke in the Department of Spectroscopy of Cold Molecules at Radboud University.