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Metastable aluminium atoms floating on the surface of helium nanodroplets

Jeffs, Jay; Besley, Nicholas A.; Stace, Anthony J.; Sarma, Gautam; Cunningham, Ethan M.; Boatwright, Adrian; Wang, Shengfu; Ellis, Andrew M.

Authors

Jay Jeffs

Anthony J. Stace tony.stace@nottingham.ac.uk

Gautam Sarma

Ethan M. Cunningham

Adrian Boatwright

Shengfu Wang

Andrew M. Ellis



Abstract

Metal atoms have proved to be sensitive probes of the properties of superfluid helium nanodroplets. To date, all experiments on the doping of helium droplets have concentrated on the attachment of metal atoms in their ground electronic states. Here we report the first examples of metal atoms in excited states becoming attached to helium nanodroplets. The atoms in question are aluminium and they have been generated by laser ablation in a metastable quartet state, which attaches to and remains on the surface of helium droplets. Evidence for a surface location comes from electronic spectra, which consist of very narrow absorption profiles that show very small spectral shifts. Supporting ab initio calculations show there to be an energy incentive for a metastable Al atom to remain on the surface of a helium droplet rather than move to the interior. The results suggest that helium droplets may provide a method for the capture and transport of metastable excited atomic and molecular species.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 12, 2015
Journal Physical Review Letters
Print ISSN 0031-9007
Electronic ISSN 1079-7114
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 114
Issue 23
Article Number 233401
APA6 Citation Jeffs, J., Besley, N. A., Stace, A. J., Sarma, G., Cunningham, E. M., Boatwright, A., …Ellis, A. M. (2015). Metastable aluminium atoms floating on the surface of helium nanodroplets. Physical Review Letters, 114(23), doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.233401
DOI https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.233401
Keywords Helium nanodroplets
Publisher URL http://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.233401
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf
Additional Information Copyright 2015 American Physical Society

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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