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Research interests

Photodissociation dynamics at surfaces

With a new spectroscopic technique (CELIF), co-developed in our group, we aim to advance the understanding of photochemical reactions at ice surfaces relevant in the earth's atmosphere. The results will reveal the differences between gas-phase and surface photodissociation for the system nitric acid on ice. The CELIF technique is open to the investigation and control of catalytic reactions and reaction dynamics on thin films, topical areas we aim to extend our research to.

1.  Photochemistry at the air-ice interface

In our new surface apparatus we study the photodissociation dynamics of atmospherically relevant molecules such as nitric acid on ice surfaces, shedding light into its importance in explaining pollutant levels in the polar atmospheric boundary layer. In order to detect photodissociation products desorbed from surfaces under near-ambient conditions (210 – 273 C), we utilise spectroscopic methods such as cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS) and laser-induced fluorescence (LIF).

2.  Cavity-enhanced laser-induced fluorescence

We developed a novel spectroscopic technique dubbed cavity-enhanced laser-induced fluorescence (CELIF) where we combine CRDS and LIF in such a way that we maintain the high sensitivity of LIF and at the same time achieve absolute calibration in terms of absorption coefficients through the simultaneous cavity ring-down measurement. We successfully demonstrated the technique in the detection of SD radicals in molecular beams down to 215 molecules in the probe volume. CELIF is particularly powerful in the measurement of absolute absorption coefficients in localised detection volumes.

3. Charge and energy transfer at surfaces

Break-down of the Born-Oppenheimer approximation is shown upon scattering of vibrationally excited NO from a Cs/Au surface. The observed electron emission scales inversely with the velocity of the NO molecules attributed to a mechanism we call vibrational auto-detachment. The large amplitude motion (NO, v=18) close to the metal surface leads to a surface-to-molecule electron transfer and subsequent emission. The probability of this process increases with interaction time (low velocity).

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Research Output

Absolute fluorescence and absorption measurements over a dynamic range of 106 with cavity-enhanced laser-induced fluorescence

Sanders, S. E., Willis, O. R., Nahler, N. H. & Wrede, E., 7 Jul 2018, In : Journal of Chemical Physics. 149, 1, p. 014201

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 63 Downloads (Pure)

    Gas Phase Fluorescence Analysis

    Carty, D., Wrede, E. & Nahler, N. H., 9 Feb 2017, IPC No. A61B 5/00 (2006.01), A61B 5/08 (2006.01), G01N 33/00 (2006.01), G01N 21/31 (2006.01), G01N 21/64 (2006.01), Patent No. WO/2017/021424, Priority date 3 Aug 2015, Priority No. 1513700.3

    Research output: Patent

  • Absolute absorption and fluorescence measurements over a dynamic range of 106 with cavity-enhanced laser-induced fluorescence

    E. Sanders, S., R. Willis, O., Hendrik Nahler, N. & Wrede, E., 8 Aug 2013, In : Journal of Chemical Physics. p. 1-24 25 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Absolute density measurement of SD radicals in a supersonic jet at the quantum-noise-limit

    Mizouri, A., Deng, L., S. Eardley, J., Hendrik Nahler, N., Wrede, E. & Carty, D., 2013, In : Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. 45, 15, p. 19575-19579 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 250 Downloads (Pure)

    Electron kinetic energies from vibrationally promoted surface exoemission: Evidence for a vibrational autodetachment mechanism

    LaRue, J. L., Schaefer, T., Matsiev, D., Velarde, L., Nahler, N. H., Auerbach, D. J. & Wodtke, A. M., 22 Dec 2011, In : Journal of Physical Chemistry A. 115, 50, p. 14306-14314 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Royal Society University Research Fellowship

    Nils Hendrik Nahler (Recipient), 2008

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively


    • 1 External Examiner
    • 1 Membership of committee
    • 1 Membership of peer review panel
    • 1 Invited talk

    Cavity-enhanced laser-induced fluorescence: development and applications

    Nils Hendrik Nahler (Speaker)
    30 Sep 2015

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

    Royal Society of Chemistry (External organisation)

    Nils Hendrik Nahler (Chair)
    1 Jan 201431 Dec 2017

    Activity: MembershipMembership of committee

    The Royal Society (External organisation)

    Nils Hendrik Nahler (Chair)
    1 Jan 20126 Oct 2015

    Activity: MembershipMembership of peer review panel