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Hybrid trapping of cold molecules and cold ions: state-controlled ion-molecule interactions, collisions and reactions in the millikelvin regime

Applicant Willitsch Stefan
Number 175533
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Physikalische Chemie Departement Chemie Universität Basel
Institution of higher education University of Basel - BS
Main discipline Physical Chemistry
Start/End 01.10.2017 - 31.12.2021
Approved amount 830'906.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Physical Chemistry
Other disciplines of Physics

Keywords (7)

cold ions; cold molecules; ion trapping; ion-neutral hybrid systems; chemical dynamics; ion-molecule reactions; cold chemistry

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die Entwicklung neuartiger experimenteller Techniken zum Kühlen und Einfangen von neutralen Atomen und atomaren Ionen bei Temperaturen von wenigen tausendstel Grad über dem absoluten Nullpunkt hat jüngst ein neues Forschungsgebiet entstehen lassen, das sich der Untersuchung der Wechselwirkungen zwischen diesen Teilchen widmet. Solche Ionen-Atom-"Hybridexperimente" bilden die Basis für eine Reihe von faszinierenden Anwendungen wie z.B. der Untersuchung von chemischen Reaktionen bei sehr tiefen Temepraturen, der Charakterisierung von Vielteilchen-Wechselwirkungen in einem neuen physikalischen Regime und der Entwicklung von neuen Kühltechniken für geladene Teilchen. Bisher waren diese Experimente jedoch auf neutrale Atome beschränkt, was die chemische Vielfalt der möglichen Hybridsysteme und der untersuchbaren Phänomene wesentlich einschränkte.
Lay summary
Im vorliegenden Projekt wird zum ersten Mal ein vollständig molekulares Hybridsystem realisiert, in welchem sowohl kalte Moleküle als auch kalte molekulare Ionen in einem gemeinsam Volumen gefangen und deren Wechselwirkungen auf Quantenebene untersucht und manipuliert werden können. Auf diese Weise werden Hybrid-Experimente erstmals auf molekulare Systeme erweitert und es werden dezidiert molekulare Phänomene einer Untersuchung zugänglich gemacht. Dies wird erreicht, indem kalte Moleküle in einer Magnetfalle gespeichert und mit kalten molekularen Ionen in einer Ionenfalle überlagert werden. Sowohl die neutralen Moleküle als auch die molekularen Ionen werden dabei in spezifischen Quantenzuständen präpariert, um eine Kontrolle der Wechselwirkungen auf Quantenebene zu ermöglichen.

Dieses interdisziplinäre Projekt kombiniert eine Reihe von Technologien aus der Atom- und Molekülphysik, um neuartige Anwendungen im Bereich der Chemie und chemischen Physik zu realisieren. Es beschreitet neue Wege in der präzisen Untersuchung von Mechanismen chemischer Reaktionen, in der Kontrolle von Molekülen und deren Wechselwirkungen und in der Untersuchung chemischer Phänomene bei extrem tiefen Temperaturen. Wir erwarten, dadurch neue Einsichten in die Grundlagen der chemischen Reaktivität, in den Transfer von Energie zwischen Molekülen und in die detaillierte Dynamik molekularer Stösse zu gewinnen, die für weite Bereiche der Chemie als auch der Physik von Interesse sind.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 02.10.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
A new design for a traveling-wave Zeeman decelerator: II. Experiment
Damjanović Tomislav, Willitsch Stefan, Vanhaecke Nicolas, Haak Henrik, Meijer Gerard, Cromiéres JeanPaul, Zhang Dongdong (2021), A new design for a traveling-wave Zeeman decelerator: II. Experiment, in New Journal of Physics, 23(10), 105007-105007.
A new design for a traveling-wave Zeeman decelerator: I. Theory
Damjanović Tomislav, Willitsch Stefan, Vanhaecke Nicolas, Haak Henrik, Meijer Gerard, Cromiéres Jean-Paul, Zhang Dongdong (2021), A new design for a traveling-wave Zeeman decelerator: I. Theory, in New Journal of Physics, 23(10), 105006-105006.
Rotational-state-changing collisions between N2+ and Rb at low energies
Dörfler A. D., Yurtsever E., Villarreal P., González-Lezana T., Gianturco F. A., Willitsch S. (2020), Rotational-state-changing collisions between N2+ and Rb at low energies, in Physical Review A, 101(1), 012706-012706.
A traveling wave Zeeman decelerator
Damjanovic T, Vanhaecke N, Cromiéres J, Haak H, Meijer G, willitsch S, Zhang D (2020), A traveling wave Zeeman decelerator, in Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1412, 122014-122014.
Long-term trapping of Stark-decelerated molecules
Haas Dominik, von Planta Claudio, Kierspel Thomas, Zhang Dongdong, Willitsch Stefan (2019), Long-term trapping of Stark-decelerated molecules, in Communications Physics, 2(1), 101-101.
Long-range versus short-range effects in cold molecular ion-neutral collisions
Dörfler Alexander D., Eberle Pascal, Koner Debasish, Tomza Michał, Meuwly Markus, Willitsch Stefan (2019), Long-range versus short-range effects in cold molecular ion-neutral collisions, in Nature Communications, 10(1), 5429-5429.
The energy distribution of an ion in a radiofrequency trap interacting with a nonuniform neutral buffer gas
Rouse Ian, Willitsch Stefan (2019), The energy distribution of an ion in a radiofrequency trap interacting with a nonuniform neutral buffer gas, in Molecular Physics, 117(21), 3120-3131.
N 2+ ( 2 Σ g ) and Rb( 2 S) in a hybrid trap: modeling ion losses from radiative association paths
Gianturco F. A., Dörfler A. D., Willitsch S., Yurtsever E., González-Lezana T., Villarreal P. (2019), N 2+ ( 2 Σ g ) and Rb( 2 S) in a hybrid trap: modeling ion losses from radiative association paths, in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 21(16), 8342-8351.
Energy distributions of an ion in a radio-frequency trap immersed in a buffer gas under the influence of additional external forces
Rouse I., Willitsch S. (2018), Energy distributions of an ion in a radio-frequency trap immersed in a buffer gas under the influence of additional external forces, in Physical Review A, 97(4), 042712-042712.
Cold molecules: techniques and applications
MeirZiv, ZhangDong, WillitschStefan (2018), Cold molecules: techniques and applications, in Mitteilungen der Schweizerischen Physikalischen Gesellschaft, 55, 31.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Francesco Gianturco, Universität Innsbruck Austria (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Ersin Yurtsever, Koc University Istanbul Turkey (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Markus Meuwly, Universität Basel Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Michal Tomza, University of Warsaw Poland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Pablo Villareal, CSIC Madrid Spain (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Dr. Olivier Dulieu, CNRS France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Physical Chemistry Seminar Individual talk Cold molecular ions in traps:
From molecular quantum technologies to precise mechanistic studies of chemical reactions 12.11.2021 Berkeley, United States of America Willitsch Stefan;
MSCA QUSTEC EUCOR Summer School 2021 Poster A cryogenic hybrid trap for cold molecules and ions 14.09.2021 online, France Vahramian Pietro;
Online CECAM Workshop "Modeling dilute matter under ultracold solvent: from quantum structure to dynamics and reactivity" Talk given at a conference Collisions and chemistry in hybrid systems of cold molecular ions and ultracold atoms: 
experiment and theory 17.05.2021 Online, France Willitsch Stefan;
AMO Physics Seminar Individual talk Cold molecular ions in traps: methods and applications 11.05.2021 Jilin University (online), China Willitsch Stefan;
TIFR-ICTS Online School and Discussion Meeting on Trapped Atoms, Molecules and Ions Talk given at a conference Cold molecular ions in traps: methods and applications 10.05.2021 Raman Research Institute, Bangalore (online), India Willitsch Stefan;
Winter School on Physics with Trapped Charged Particles Poster A cryogenic hybrid trap for cold molecules and cold ions 27.01.2021 online, France Vahramian Pietro;
Swiss Chemical Society Fall Meeting Poster Hybrid Trapping of Stark-Decelerated Polar Molecules and Laser-Cooled Ions in a Cryogenic Trap 28.08.2020 online, Switzerland Mangeng Christian;
International Conference on Molecular Energy Transfer in Complex Systems (iCOMET) 2019 Poster Long-term trapping of Stark-decelerated molecules 22.09.2019 Hefei, China Kierspel Thomas;
International Conference on Molecular Energy Transfer in Complex Systems (iCOMET) 2019 Talk given at a conference Ion-molecule chemistry with cold and controlled ions 22.09.2019 Hefei, China Willitsch Stefan;
Swiss Chemical Society Fall Meeting Poster Towards Collision Experiments with Cold Molecules and Cold Molecular Ions 06.09.2019 Zürich, Switzerland Mangeng Christian;
Dynamics of Molecular Collisions Poster Cryogenic Trapping of OH Radicals 07.07.2019 Big Sky, United States of America von Planta Claudio;
International Symposium on Molecular Beams Poster Towards Collision Experiments with Cold Molecules and Cold Molecular Ions 23.06.2019 Edinburgh, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Mangeng Christian;
Kolloquium des Fritz Haber Instituts der Max Planck Gesellschaft Individual talk New experiments with cold molecules and ions 14.06.2019 Berlin, Germany Willitsch Stefan;
COST Action TIPICQA Kick-Off Meeting Talk given at a conference Cold molecular ion-neutral hybrid systems 06.03.2019 Granada, Spain Willitsch Stefan;
New Horizons in Chemical Physics Talk given at a conference Cold molecular ions in traps: 
From cold chemistry to new spectroscopies 04.03.2019 Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Willitsch Stefan;
5. European Conference on Trapped Ions (ECTI) Talk given at a conference Complex ion-neutral hybrid systems 18.11.2018 Rehovot, Israel Willitsch Stefan;
Molecular Quantum Dynamics and Kinetics Talk given at a conference Studies of chemical kinetics and dynamics with cold and controlled molecules 08.10.2018 Athen, Greece Willitsch Stefan;
Swiss Chemical Society Fall Meeting Poster Towards hybrid trapping of cold molecules and cold molecular ions 07.09.2018 Lausanne, Switzerland Mangeng Christian;
22nd European Conference on the Dynamics of Molecular Systems (MOLEC) Talk given at a conference Studies of chemical dynamics with cold and controlled molecules 26.08.2018 Dinard, France Willitsch Stefan;
22nd European Conference on the Dynamics of Molecular Systems (MOLEC) Poster Cryogenic Trapping of OH radicals 26.08.2018 Dinard, France von Planta Claudio;
Few-body and Collective Many-Body Behavior with Charge Impurities in Atomic Quantum Gases Talk given at a conference Superstatistical properties of a trapped ion in an ultracold buffer gas 18.07.2018 Sant Feliu de Guixols, Spain Willitsch Stefan;
Classical and Quantum Plasmas Talk given at a conference Energy distributions of a trapped ion immersed in an ultracold buffer gas 05.04.2018 Rom, Italy Willitsch Stefan;
Conference on Cold and Controlled Molecules and Ions Poster Hybrid trapping of cold molecules and cold molecular ions 25.03.2018 Athens, United States of America Haas Dominik;
255th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society Talk given at a conference Probes of ion-neutral chemical dynamics 
with cold and controlled molecules 18.03.2018 New Orleans, United States of America Willitsch Stefan;
AMO Seminar Individual talk Ion-neutral hybrid experiments 07.02.2018 Rehovot, Israel Willitsch Stefan;
SFB 1227 Kolloquium Individual talk New methods for probing the properties and dynamics of molecular quantum systems 25.01.2018 Hannover, Germany Willitsch Stefan;
Physikalisches Kolloquium Individual talk Cold Molecular Ions in Traps: From Precision Spectroscopy to Controlled Collisions 18.01.2018 Kassel, Germany Willitsch Stefan;
651. WE Heraeus Seminar "Long-range Interactions" Talk given at a conference The role of long-range interactions  in ion-neutral hybrid systems 25.10.2017 Bad Honnef, Germany Willitsch Stefan;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Populärwissenschaftlicher Vortrag für das Hochrheinseminar Waldshut International 2019
Talks/events/exhibitions Populärwissenschaftlicher Vortrag für die Freie Akademische Gesellschaft Basel German-speaking Switzerland 2018
Talks/events/exhibitions Populärwissenschaftlicher Vortrag für die Naturforschende Gesellschaft in Basel German-speaking Switzerland 2018

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
156182 Hybrid trapping of cold molecules and cold ions 01.10.2014 Project funding

Abstract

Enabled by the recent development of experimental techniques for the simultaneous trapping of cold ions and atoms, the study of interactions between these species at temperatures down to the millikelvin range has emerged as a new scientific field at the interface between chemistry and physics over the past few years. These ”hybrid” systems of cold ions and atoms have formed the basis of exciting new avenues of research. These include studies of the dynamics of ion-neutral collisions at very low energies, the elucidation of exotic ultralow-temperature ion chemistry, the investigation of many-body physics in a regime of intermediate interaction strengths, precise characterizations of intermolecular interactions and the development of new cooling techniques for ions.One major drawback of previous experiments, however, was their technological restriction to laser- coolable atoms, mostly alkalis, which were confined in suitable atom traps and superimposed with trapped ions. This experimental limitation severely constrained the scope of systems and phenomena which could be studied. As the main objective of our current SNSF project over the past two years, we have been developing a new experimental approach for the simultaneous trapping of cold neutral molecules and molecular ions which substantially enhances the chemical and scientific scope of hybrid trapping experiments. Our new method is based on the magnetic trapping of Stark-decelerated cold neu- tral molecules which are superimposed with sympathetically cooled molecular ions in a radiofrequency ion trap under cryogenic conditions. This new experimental setup opens the dorr for probing interactions, collisions and chemical reactions between ions and molecules in the millikelvin regime for the first time.Following the experimental development of this new method during the first phase of the project, we now apply for a continuation of this project grant to harvest its full scientific potential by (i) implementing internal quantum-state preparation of both the trapped neutrals and the trapped ions in order to realize fully state-controlled studies, (ii) further extending its chemical scope by trapping a wider range of neutral molecules and molecular ions, and (iii) apply these developments to investigations of cold collisions and chemical reactions in a range of prototypical and fundamental ion-molecule hybrid systems consisting of the combination of N2+ , O2+ and H2O+ with OH and NH.The present project combines experimental methods established in the domains of quantum optics and atomic and molecular physics in a new and original fashion in order to address pertinent problems in chemistry and chemical physics. It will introduce new experimental techniques into studies of the collisional and chemical dynamics of ionic processes which enable an unprecedented level of control over collision parameters such as collision energies and molecular quantum states. In this way, it will provide new insights into fundamental principles of molecular energy transfer, chemical reactivity and collision dynamics of interest to a wider chemistry and physics community
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