KSEF RDE: Laser Spectroscopic Detection and Characterization of Molecular Ions

  • Clouthier, Dennis (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Molecular ions are of great practical importance in the etching and fabrication of semiconductors, in materials science, and in advanced manufacturing processes. We propose to use laser methods to study the electronic spectra of a variety of molecular ions. These studies will provide sensitive nonintrusive methods for detecting and characterizing ions and will establish the necessary database required for remote sensing of these species in real-world applications. We have developed electric discharge techniques that allow us to prepare and study new reactive molecules. Recently, we have found that it is also possible to produce intense spectra of molecular cations and anions from our discharge source. This is unexplored and exciting territory for us, as we have not previously studied the spectra of charged species. We propose to use powerful laser techniques to detect and characterize the target ions. The ionic species will be cooled to low temperatures by expansion into vacuum and will be probed by ultrasensitive laser-induced fluorescence techniques. Rotational analysis of the spectra will enable us to determine the precise molecular structures of the ions, with bond lengths measurable with an error ofless 0.005 angstrom. The resolution of our laser instrumentation is unique in Kentucky and provides the capability to do measurements that cannot be done in any other manner. This research will provide unprecedented data on the molecular structures and bonding of both cations and anions. Of equal importance is the fact that these studies will provide sensitive and versatile methods for detecting such ions in industrial environments. We have preliminary data that demonstrate the validity of this approach for studying ions and funding ofthis proposal will enhance our capability to secure long term support from NSF or DOE. In addition to the research accomplishments, the funding will provide training in modern chemical physics for two graduate students.
Effective start/end date1/1/0712/31/09


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