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Infrared and Raman spectroscopy of molecules and molecular aggregates in helium droplets

Posted on:2012-12-07Degree:Ph.DType:Dissertation
University:University of Southern CaliforniaCandidate:Sliter, Russell ThomasFull Text:PDF
This dissertation covers several different aspects of spectroscopy of molecules and molecular clusters embedded in low-temperature matrices, such as helium droplets. First, details on the formation and optimization of He droplets will be discussed. A new method of measuring droplet sizes for cw nozzle expansions using mass spectrometry was developed. The results of the measurements of the sizes of the droplets in pulsed expansion as a function of temperature will be described. Details on the electron-impact ionization of He droplets will also be discussed as well as a simple method of modeling the ionization and excitation of He atoms in the droplet. In addition, preliminary measurements on the size distribution of He droplets produced at very low temperature of 5--7 K in continuous expansion will be addressed.;Using matrix isolation in He droplets, vibrational spectra of clusters consisting of para-H2 or para-H2/D2 have been obtained using coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS). The vibrational frequency of para-H2 molecules obtained upon expansion of neat para-H2/D2 gas or liquid was found to be very similar to that in bulk solid samples having equal composition. On the other hand, spectra in clusters obtained upon expansion of 1% para-H2/D 2 clusters seeded in He are liquid and have a considerable frequency shift, which indicate phase separation of the two isotopes in clusters at low temperature. The onset of phase separation in para-H2/D 2 mixtures is predicted at approximately 3 K providing further evidence of super-cooled liquid hydrogen clusters.;To address the Raman spectra observed in liquid H2 clusters, vibrational and rotational spectra of bulk liquid para-H2 at temperature of T = 14 -- 26 K and of solid at T = 6 -- 13 K have been obtained using coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering technique. The vibrational frequency in the liquid increases with temperature by about 2 cm-1, and the shift scales with the square of the sample's density. An extrapolation of the vibrational frequency in the metastable para-H2 liquid below the freezing point is discussed. The results indicate that the vibron hopping between the molecules is active in the liquid, similar to that previously found in the solid.;Matrix isolation has also been performed in argon solid matrices based on a custom-made cryogenic optical cell. Single water molecules have been isolated in solid Ar matrices at 4 K and studied by ro-vibrational spectroscopy using FTIR in the regions of the nu1, nu2, and nu 3 modes. Upon nuclear spin conversion at 4 K, essentially pure para-H2O was prepared followed by subsequent fast annealing generating ice particles. FTIR studies of the vapor above the condensed water upon annealing to T ≥ 250 K indicate fast re-conversion of nuclear spin to equilibrium conditions. Our results indicate that nuclear spin conversion is fast in water dimers and larger clusters, which preclude preparation of concentrated samples of para-H2O, such as in ice or vapor.
Keywords/Search Tags:Clusters, Molecules, Spectroscopy, Droplets, Raman, Temperature, Para-h2, Liquid
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