This project aims to study and control individual molecule interactions during specific collisions, a long-held dream of chemical physicists. By developing new techniques, we can study these collisions at extremely low temperatures (ranging from 10 millikelvin to 10 Kelvin) and manipulate their behavior using electric and magnetic fields. At these cold temperatures, quantum effects like interference and tunneling are important. Scattering resonances occur during collisions, and they are very sensitive to external electric or magnetic fields. This provides us an exciting opportunity to use these fields as "control knobs" to manipulate and control the process of molecular collisions.
In this project we study scattering resonances in important chemical systems involving molecules like OH, NO, NH3, and H2CO. By utilizing external electric or magnetic fields, we can manipulate the positions and widths of scattering resonances, which lead to changes in collision rates. This approach, known as "collision engineering," will give deeper insights in unexplored quantum phenomena and provide tests for molecular interaction theories, opening new possibilities in the emerging research field of cold molecules.
Direct output of the project are the following publications:
- Imaging the onset of the resonance regime in low-energy NO-He collisions
Tim De Jongh, Matthieu Besemer, Quan Shuai, Tijs Karman, Ad Van Der Avoird, Gerrit C. Groenenboom And Sebastiaan Y. T. Van De Meerakker
Science (2020). Imaging the onset of the resonance regime in low-energy NO-He collisions | Science
- Mapping partial wave dynamics in scattering resonances by rotational de-excitation collisions
Tim de Jongh, Quan Shuai, Grite L. Abma, Stach Kuijpers, Matthieu Besemer, Ad van der Avoird, Gerrit C. Groenenboom & Sebastiaan Y. T. van de Meerakker
Nature Chemistry (2022). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41557-022-00896-2
- Glory scattering in deeply inelastic molecular collisions
Matthieu Besemer, Guoqiang Tang, Zhi Gao, Ad van der Avoird, Gerrit C. Groenenboom, Sebastiaan Y. T. van de Meerakker & Tijs Karman
Nature Chemistry (2022). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41557-022-00907-2
- Quantum state resolved molecular dipolar collisions over four decades of energy
Guoqiang Tang, Matthieu Besemer, Stach Kuijpers, Gerrit C. Groenenboom, Ad van der Avoird, Tijs Karman, Sebastiaan Y.T. van de Meerakker
Science (2023). Quantum state–resolved molecular dipolar collisions over four decades of energy | Science