Formation, survival, and destruction of complex molecular systems

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2017
End date: 31/12/2020
Funding: 3300000 SEK


This project aims to advance our knowledge on how complex molecules respond to light and energetic particles, and how they are formed and survive in nature and in space. The goal is to contribute to solve outstanding questions in science, from understanding radiation damage at the single molecular level to explaining the recently observed exceptionally high abundance of C60+ molecules in the interstellar medium (E. K. Campbell et al, Nature 523, 322 (2015)). Here, we will develop and combine powerful experimental and theoretical techniques for studies of e.g. small hydrocarbons, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), fullerenes, and biomolecules.

Experiments will be performed at the DESIREE (Double ElectroStatic Ion Ring Experiment) infrastructure at Stockholm University. We will use its main instrument for unique studies of interactions between oppositely charged molecular ions at controlled collision energies (down to a few meV) under interstellar conditions, and for measurements of lifetimes and absorption spectra of internally cold molecular ions. We will study how isolated molecules and their clusters respond to ion/atom impact in Stockholm and at the ARIBE facility in Caen (France). In parallel, we will develop new theoretical tools and methods to guide experiments and to help to interpret our own and other experimental results. The interplay between experiment and theory is essential in this project.

Last updated on 2017-05-10 at 08:12