Faculty of Science
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User station 5: Laser-desorption molecular beam set-up for astrochemistry and bio-inspired spectroscopy (BuMa-I)

We aim at a full characterization of the geometry, the electronic structure and the gas phase chemical reactions under high energy conditions of molecular species with astrochemical relevance, such as small carbon clusters, fullerenes, PAHs and other carbon-based molecules. Moreover, we seek to unravel the complicated relation between structure and conformational dynamics of bio-related molecules, including peptides, supramolecular complexes and hydrogen-bonded systems.

These mostly non-volatile molecular species are brought into the gas phase using either a laser desorption or a resistively heated source, which in addition can be coupled with an electrical discharge. The gas phase molecules are subsequently cooled down in a supersonic expansion, resulting in intact, cold, neutral molecules. The molecules can be probed by using conformer-selective ion-dip spectroscopy or infrared multiple photon dissociation spectroscopy, in the wide region from about 80 to 3200 cm-1. The species are detected by a perpendicularly extracted reflectron time-of-flight mass spectrometer.

Have a look at user station 5 in our virtual lab (wait a moment to load and start at the right spot).

Molecular Sources

  • Laser desorption source operating at 1064 nm, 10 Hz, 1-20 mJ
  • Heatable source (30 - 195 degrees Celcius, up to 20 Hz)
  • Discharge source (up to 20 Hz, Ar or He plasma, 0-800V, 0-500 mA)

UV lasers

  • 2x YAG pumped ns pulsed dye lasers (205-720 nm)
  • ArF excimer laser (193 nm)
  • Ar/Xe gas cell pumped with 355 nm photons (118 nm

Schematic layout of the molecular beam set-up. In the interaction chamber the isolated and cooled neutral molecules interact with the UV and IR beams of FELIX.