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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R023085/1
Title: Time-resolved dissociative electron attachment
Principal Investigator: Verlet, Professor JRR
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
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Department: Chemistry
Organisation: Durham, University of
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2018 Ends: 31 March 2021 Value (£): 372,428
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Gas & Solution Phase Reactions
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
13 Dec 2017 EPSRC Physical Sciences - December 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Chemical changes can be driven by the reaction of molecules with atoms, molecules, heat, light or electrons. All of these types of reactions have been studied extensively over the past century. In particular, their study under isolated (gas-phase) conditions enables the atomic-level details of the chemical dynamics to be uncovered. More recently, with the advent of short pulsed lasers in the 1980's, all of these isolated reactions have been studied at the timescales of the atomic motion in complex molecules, with the notable exception of electron driven reactions. One of the most important electron driven chemical reactions is that of dissociative electron attachment in which an electron breaks apart a molecule leaving a neutral and negatively charged fragment.

The current proposal outlines two experimental methods that will enable the direct measurement of dissociative electron attachment for the first time. The outcomes will provide a new platform to study a wide range of such reactions and a few atmospherically important reactions will be studied to demonstrate the applicability of the methods. The outcomes will provide valuable insight into the fundamental nature of these electron driven reactions. This fundamental insight is crucial because the computational modelling of dissociative dynamics is still beyond the current state-of-the-art except for the smallest molecular systems. From a broader perspective, understanding electron driven chemistry will ultimately enable control and rational design of such processes, which is technologically exploitable. For example, plasma-reactions are employed in molecular coating, etching, and semi-conductor technologies.
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