Excited states, optical spectra, and decay dynamics of small coinage metal clusters
The main ambition of the cluster science research field is to understand how matter is built up from an atom over clusters and nanoparticles to larger systems including bulk. Central knowledge in the field is that properties of clusters are strongly size dependent and that zero dimensional quantum confinement determines their physical and chemical properties in a non-scalable way. So far, very little experimental and theoretical information is available on excited states of small clusters, and on how electron correlations are reflected in observables. Therefore the main aim of this project is to investigate the excited states in model cluster systems, in particular of gold, silver and copper. We want to obtain information on excited state energies, on decay processes and relaxation dynamics of excited cluster states, and on the various timescales involved. The project uses innovative experimental methodologies based on laser spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and ion trapping, to study photoabsorption, cluster decay modes, and radiative decay. To this purpose we will use a recently installed electrostatic cluster ion storage ring setup.