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Magnetically manipulated molecular beams; a novel ultra-sensitive approach for studying the structure and dynamics of water surfaces (MAGNETIC BEAMS)
Start date: Oct 1, 2012, End date: Sep 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This proposal is aimed at developing and applying novel ultra-sensitive methods for studying the structure and dynamics of surfaces on an atomic scale, focusing on water surfaces in particular.The proposal consists of two main instrument development projects which are based on magnetic manipulation of molecular beams: (1) Developing a ground-breaking apparatus which uses a pre-polarized H2O molecular beam in order to perform NMR measurements on dilute surface science systems, measurements which were impossible using conventional NMR approaches. (2) Developing a unique second-generation helium spin echo spectrometer which is sensitive to motion on an unprecedentedly wide time scale range. This instrument will be capable of measuring atomic scale surface dynamics of systems which were previously beyond the realm of experimentalists.Both of these novel instruments will be primarily used to study the atomic scale structure and dynamics of water surfaces. Studying these systems is particularly challenging due to the delicate and complex nature of the surface, nevertheless, there is an extensive interest in studying water surfaces due to the key role they play in a wide range of research fields and applications. Examples include atmospheric chemistry, where ozone depleting reactions are catalyzed on ice surfaces, Material sciences and nano-technology, where the interaction and reactivity of a surface with water can determine the performance of novel miniature devices and even astrophysics where star birth reactions take place on ice surfaces. We intend to exploit the new contrast mechanisms and the unique time scales made available by the novel instruments we will develop, in order to obtain new experimental insights into this exciting research field.

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