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: New filter could advance terahertz data transmission

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

New filter could advance terahertz data transmission

Feb 27, 2015

University of Utah engineers have discovered a new approach for designing filters capable of separating different frequencies in the terahertz spectrum, the next generation of communications bandwidth that ...

The super-resolution revolution

Feb 27, 2015

Cambridge scientists are part of a resolution revolution. Building powerful instruments that shatter the physical limits of optical microscopy, they are beginning to watch molecular processes as they happen, ...

A new X-ray microscope for nanoscale imaging

Feb 27, 2015

Delivering the capability to image nanostructures and chemical reactions down to nanometer resolution requires a new class of x-ray microscope that can perform precision microscopy experiments using ultra-bright ...

Top-precision optical atomic clock starts ticking

Feb 26, 2015

A state-of-the-art optical atomic clock, collaboratively developed by scientists from the University of Warsaw, Jagiellonian University, and Nicolaus Copernicus University, is now "ticking away" at the National ...

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

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.