2010 Oktober

Gebändigte Molekülstrahlen

Wednesday, 20th October 2010Ausgewählte Publikationen

Foto des 40-teiligen molekularen Synchrotrons. Das Team um Prof. Meijer verwendet gepulste elektrische Felder, um gleichzeitig bis zu 19 Molekülpakete im Ring zu speichern. Diese Moleküle können im Ring eine Strecke von über einer Meile zurücklegen.

Wissenschaftlern am Fritz-Haber-Institut (FHI) ist es gelungen, ein  Paket neutraler Moleküle über eine Flugstrecke von einer Meile auf einer kontrollierten Bahn zu halten. Die dabei angewandte Methode basiert auf der Wechselwirkung von polaren Molekülen mit inhomogenen elektrischen Feldern. Diese Methode ist der Technik sehr ähnlich, mit der man geladene Teilchen manipuliert. Anstatt eine Maschine zu bauen, die eine Meile lang ist, haben Zieger und Kollegen aus der Abteilung von Prof. Gerard Meijer vierzig gerade Hexapole in einem Kreis von einem halben Meter Durchmesser angeordnet (siehe Foto). Dieser Aufbau ermöglichte es, ein 3 mm langes Molekülpaket über viele Umläufe hinweg stabil auf Kurs zu halten. Außerdem gelang es, mehrere Pakete gleichzeitig zu speichern, was ebenfalls von der hohen Stabilität im Ring zeugt. Diese Ergebnisse demonstrieren, welche Kontrolle die Forscher nunmehr über neutrale Moleküle haben. Sie wurden in dem angesehenen Journal Physical Review Letters veröffentlicht und als Editor’s Suggestion hervorgehoben.

(Veröffentlicht: 22. Okt, 2010 | Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 173001)

Weitere Auskünfte: Peter Zieger, Bas van de Meerakker, und Gerard Meijer


New Humboldt Recipient breaks the traditional scholar mold

Thursday, 7th October 2010Diverses

C. Franklin Goldsmith “hiking” on Berlin’s Pfaueninsel with his daughter Sabine.

As of 01 Sept 2010, the Emmy Noether Group in the Inorganic Chemistry department has enjoyed the addition of Humboldt Scholar C. Franklin Goldsmith to their high temperature catalysis group. The group, headed by Dr. Raimund Horn, focuses on understanding all the elementary reactions in the high-temperature, high-pressure conversion of alkanes to higher-value products, such as partial oxidation and oxidative coupling. Goldsmith will investigate catalytic combustion: the complete oxidation of propane or methane on a metal (e.g., palladium) surface. The goal, as Goldsmith explains, “is to map the time and spatial profile of the various transient species, for instance, at what point in the experiment and at what concentrations do they occur, to determine a detailed model under realistic (industrial catalysis) conditions.”

Goldsmith recently completed his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Goldsmith’s thesis work, having a large theoretical bend, and his background in mathematics makes him an important addition to the mostly experimental group of Dr. Horn. At the same time, the group’s expertise on various experimental techniques was what attracted Goldsmith to the FHI. Goldsmith plans on performing experiments under high temperature and high pressure conditions, as well as building a computational model able to predict all the relevant gas phase products and surface variations.

When reading Goldsmiths’ CV, one cannot help but notice the many distinctions he has accumulated in such a young career. Goldsmith’s path, though, is not so straight-forward as it may appear on paper. He is an avid hiker, spending ample time traveling in places from Alaska to Guatemala, and even authoring a guidebook for hiking in western North Carolina. He has tried his hand at various jobs across a wide spectrum – from wood chopping to pastry chef – before earning a B.A. in philosophy. I asked Goldsmith how this scope of experiences has affected him, and he responded “well, it all made sense along the way, and now I’m certain about what I want to be doing.”

Goldsmith is excited to return to Germany, where he spent his time as a Fulbright Scholar, and particularly to live in Berlin, where he has been a frequent visitor since the late 90’s. He describes Berlin as “dynamic” and is happy to be witnessing its transformation up close. “Berlin is big enough to have everything but it still feels small with its distinct neighborhoods.” The FHI is equally excited to experience the changes that Goldsmith will undoubtedly bring to the Inorganic Chemistry department.

[CH]