Fullerenes are nanometer-sized hollow carbon molecules or clusters named
after the American architect and engineer R. Buckminster-Fuller. They were
discovered in a mass spectrometer in 1985 by R. Curl, H.W. Kroto, R.E. Smalley
and Smalley's two graduate students J.R. Heath and S.C. O'Brien. This led to
the three senior scientists being awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
More general information on fullerenes here.
By studying clusters and fullerenes in the gas phase one can learn about
how highly excited, unsupported clusters and fullerenes behave. We are
interested in the dynamics of excited clusters, fullerenes and clusters of
Our approach to these problems is mainly experimental but we also do
modeling to try to understand the dynamics on a more theoretical level.
A highly excited C60 in the gas phase mainly has three ways
of decay; electron emission, fragmentation and radiative cooling. We
study the dynamics and competition between these decay channels (on a microsec timescale).
We have taken special interest in the phenomenon called delayed
ionisation which electron emission which appears statistically(?) some
microsecs after excitation (as opposed to prompt ionisation). The experiments
are often performed by exciting fullerenes in the gas phase with laser pulses.
The ionised fullerenes can then by studied in the time
of flight mass spectrometer. By varying things like wavelength of the
laser(s), fullerene temperature, extraction time and so on we can also learn
more about the internal dynamics and thermodynamics of excited fullerenes.
Read more about some of our current projects
Some of the most recent publications:
"Thermal radiation from CN+ and
M. Hedén, K. Hansen, F. Jonsson, E. Rönnow, A. Gromov, A. Taninaka,
H. Shinohara and E.E.B. Campbell
J. Chem. Phys. 123 (2005) 044310
"Molecular fusion of (C60)N clusters in the gas
phase after femtosecond laser irradiation"
M. Hedén, K. Hansen and E.E.B. Campbell
Phys. Rev. A, 71 (2005) 055201
"Energy distributions in multiple photon absorption experiments"
K. Mehlig, K. Hansen, M. Hedén, A. Lassesson, A.V. Bulgakov and E.E.B. Campbell,
J. Chem. Phys. 120 (2004) 4281
Last updated 2005-09-06