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A novel gas-vacuum interface for environmental molecular beam studies

Journal article
Authors Sofia M. Johansson
Xiangrui Kong
Panos Papagiannakopoulos
Erik S Thomson
Jan B. C. Pettersson
Published in Review of Scientific Instruments
Volume 88
Issue 3
ISSN 0034-6748
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Language en
Keywords in-situ, water accommodation, collision dynamics, covered ice, surfaces, simulations, temperature, graphite, liquid, system, Instruments & Instrumentation, Physics
Subject categories Chemical Sciences, Physical Sciences


Molecular beam techniques are commonly used to obtain detailed information about reaction dynamics and kinetics of gas-surface interactions. These experiments are traditionally performed in vacuum and the dynamic state of surfaces under ambient conditions is thereby excluded from detailed studies. Herein we describe the development and demonstration of a new vacuum-gas interface that increases the accessible pressure range in environmental molecular beam (EMB) experiments. The interface consists of a grating close to a macroscopically flat surface, which allows for experiments at pressures above 1 Pa including angularly resolved measurements of the emitted flux. The technique is successfully demonstrated using key molecular beam experiments including elastic helium and inelastic water scattering from graphite, helium and light scattering from condensed adlayers, and water interactions with a liquid 1-butanol surface. The method is concluded to extend the pressure range and flexibility in EMB studies with implications for investigations of high pressure interface phenomena in diverse fields including catalysis, nanotechnology, environmental science, and life science. Potential further improvements of the technique are discussed. Published by AIP Publishing.

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