Bar Ilana: Probing dynamics and structure of molecules using laser spectroscopy

One area of active research is the study of dynamics, structure and bond cleavage in gas phase molecules utilizing pulsed lasers. These characteristics are probed via spectral signatures of the species with various spectroscopies, employing tunable lasers spanning the infrared, visible and ultraviolet regions of the spectrum. In particular, we seek for the possibility of controlling bond fission via energy deposition in different skeletal motions of molecules. The major goals are to find ways for selecting desired reaction pathways, for altering state distributions, for developing an understanding regarding vibrational energy flow within molecules, and for finding non-statistical behaviour so that it can be predicted and may be even controlled by lasers.

Another research project involves the development of a new spectroscopic method for the study of floppy biomolecules. This is due to the crucial role that conformations and shapes of molecular constituents involved in biological processes play in determining their selectivity and functionality. The exploration of these properties is thus a prerequisite for gaining molecular-level understanding of the complex dynamics of these processes. Structures and interactions of biomolecules are of fundamental importance in elucidating the mechanisms of biological processes and might have implications on designing drugs that mimic, activate or suppress the function of bioactive systems.

Figure 1: The experimental setup. Click to enlarge.
Figure 2: Mode-dependent photodissociation and photoionization of methylamine. Click to enlarge.

Further reading:

  • A. Golan, S. Rosenwaks, and I. Bar, J. Chem. Phys. 125, 151103 (2006).

  • A. Portnov, L. Blockstein, and I. Bar, J. Chem. Phys. 124, 164301 (2006).

  • E. Bespechansky, A. Portnov, A. Zwielly, S. Rosenwaks and I. Bar, J. Chem. Phys. 125, 133301 (2006).