Atom-Surface Scattering Dynamics

Oliver Bünermann leads the Atom-Surface Scattering Dynamics group with co-workers Hongyan Jiang and Yvonne Dorenkamp.

Hydrogen is the most prevalent element in the universe and understanding its surface dynamics has profound implications; implications that range from interstellar chemistry to maximizing performance of neutral beam injectors at the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). Being one of the simplest model systems for energy conversion at surfaces, H-atom scattering also provides a key to developing new theories of surface chemistry.

In our research, monochromatic H-atom beams with well defined initial directions are produced by small molecule photolysis and the final kinetic energy and scattering angle are measured with extraordinary resolution employing Rydberg Atom Tagging. In the RAT-project, both techniques are adopted and combined with state of the art surface scattering machine, introducing an entirely new approach to surface analysis. Using spin polarized H-atoms, magnetic properties of surfaces may be probed. H-atoms diffraction is also an opportunity to develop new methods of surface structural analysis. In a parallel effort, ultra-short pulses of H-atoms are being developed for initiating real time dynamics of surface reactions.

Press Releases & Research News

Göttingen researchers have elucidated why hydrogen atoms bind to metals
The Göttingen researchers Oliver Bünermann and Alec Wodtke of the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry and the University of Göttingen have made a big step forward in understanding chemical reactions at surfaces in detail. Their findings could, in future, help to further improve catalytic processes such as emission control and to identify new catalytic materials. more
<p>Bunching atoms together</p>

Bunching atoms together

November 05, 2014
Göttingen researchers have now succeeded in generating ultra-short pulses of atoms. They might help to carry out time-resolved experiments initiated by atomic collisions. more
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