Size matters -- even for molecules

Feb 03, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Two electrons that are emitted from a large molecule by a single photon may originate from far apart within that molecule. In a recent study on hydrocarbon molecules consisting of one to five fused benzene rings (each ring consisting of six carbon atoms), Synchrotron Radiation Center researchers Tim Hartman and Ralf Wehlitz have found that the relative probability for ejecting two electrons scales linearly with the length of the molecule.

This indicates that the two electrons can originate at the two opposite ends of the molecule, which, in this case, is up to 1.4 nm or about 10 times the diameter of a carbon atom apart. This observation also implies that the production of stable doubly charged parent ions relative to singly charged parent ions is rather large for large molecules leading to the emission of many slow .

When a slow electron attaches to another molecule, such as a large bio-molecule, it makes it prone to , so that such "marked" molecule can easily fragment.

The publication of this paper by SRC Researchers Tim Hartman and Ralf Wehlitz can be found at T. Hartman et al., PRL 108, 023001 (2012).

Explore further: IHEP in China has ambitions for Higgs factory

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How do free electrons originate?

Jan 20, 2010

Scientists at Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics (IPP) in Garching and Greifswald and Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin, Germany, have discovered a new way in which high-energy radiation in water can release slow electrons. ...

Scientists track electrons in molecules

Jun 13, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Physicists in Europe have successfully glimpsed the motion of electrons in molecules. The results are a major boon for the research world. Knowing how electrons move within molecules will ...

Scientists make holograms of atoms using electrons

Jan 06, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- While holography is often associated with artistic 3D images, it can also be used for many other purposes. In a new study, scientists have created holograms of atoms using laser-driven electron ...

Hot molecule explains cold chemistry

Jan 30, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- Surprisingly, hydrogen cyanide and its far more energetic isomer, hydrogen isocyanide, are present in almost equal amounts in cold interstellar gas clouds. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute ...

Recommended for you

IHEP in China has ambitions for Higgs factory

15 hours ago

Who will lay claim to having the world's largest particle smasher?. Could China become the collider capital of the world? Questions tease answers, following a news story in Nature on Tuesday. Proposals for ...

The physics of lead guitar playing

16 hours ago

String bends, tapping, vibrato and whammy bars are all techniques that add to the distinctiveness of a lead guitarist's sound, whether it's Clapton, Hendrix, or BB King.

The birth of topological spintronics

17 hours ago

The discovery of a new material combination that could lead to a more efficient approach to computer memory and logic will be described in the journal Nature on July 24, 2014. The research, led by Penn S ...

The electric slide dance of DNA knots

20 hours ago

DNA has the nasty habit of getting tangled and forming knots. Scientists study these knots to understand their function and learn how to disentangle them (e.g. useful for gene sequencing techniques). Cristian ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Callippo
1 / 5 (1) Feb 03, 2012
relative probability for ejecting two electrons scales linearly with the length of the molecule.
if true, nanotubes should always eject two electrons only