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Cold Ion Chemistry - Experiments within a Rydberg Orbit

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "CICERO" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: Raemistrasse 101
postcode: 8092

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Switzerland [CH]
 Total cost 2˙130˙088 €
 EC max contribution 2˙130˙088 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-06-01   to  2022-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

'To date no experiment has investigated ion-molecule reactions at temperatures significantly below about 20 K, for two reasons: (i) Cooling the translational and internal degrees of freedom of ions and molecules is extremely challenging. (ii) Even very weak stray electric fields accelerate the ions. A potential difference of only 1 mV across the reaction volume imparts a kinetic energy of 1 meV to ions, which corresponds to a temperature of about 12 K. Quantum mechanical effects arising from the translational and the frozen or hindered rotational motion of the reactants in the intermolecular potential are only expected to be significant below 20 K and have therefore not been observed yet in ion-molecule reactions, even for reactions involving the lightest ions and molecules. This proposal aims at developing a new experimental method to study ion-molecule reactions at temperatures down to 100 mK and to study ion-molecule reactions involving light species, with particular emphasis placed on the observation and quantification of quantum effects in low-temperature ion-molecule chemistry. To reach this goal, we will study the ion-molecule reactions within the orbit of a highly excited Rydberg electron, which will shield the reaction from stray fields without affecting its outcome. To reach very low collision energies, we will use a merged-beam approach relying on a surface-electrode Rydberg-Stark deflector. In the preparatory phase of this proposal, we have carried out a proof-of-principle measurement of the H2 H2 -> H3 H reaction below 1 K using a simplified version of the 'ideal' instrument and demonstrated the feasibility of our method. We now plan to exploit the full potential of our new approach and study important ion-molecule reactions in a temperature range thought until now to be experimentally inaccessible.'


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Michael Peper, Felix Helmrich, Jonas Butscher, Josef Anton Agner, Hansjürg Schmutz, Frédéric Merkt, Johannes Deiglmayr
Precision measurement of the ionization energy and quantum defects of K 39 i
published pages: , ISSN: 2469-9926, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.100.012501
Physical Review A 100/1 2020-02-04
2019 Friedrich Aumayr, Kiyoshi Ueda, Emma Sokell, Stefan Schippers, Hossein Sadeghpour, Frédéric Merkt, Thomas F Gallagher, F Barry Dunning, Paul Scheier, Olof Echt, Tom Kirchner, Stephan Fritzsche, Andrey Surzhykov, Xinwen Ma, Roberto Rivarola, Omar Fojon, Lokesh Tribedi, Emily Lamour, José R Crespo López-Urrutia, Yuri A Litvinov, Vladimir Shabaev, Henrik Cederquist, Henning Zettergren, Marika S
Roadmap on photonic, electronic and atomic collision physics: III. Heavy particles: with zero to relativistic speeds
published pages: 171003, ISSN: 0953-4075, DOI: 10.1088/1361-6455/ab26ea
Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 52/17 2020-02-04
2019 U. Hollenstein, K. Dulitz, F. Merkt
The adiabatic ionisation energy of CO 2
published pages: 2956-2960, ISSN: 0026-8976, DOI: 10.1080/00268976.2019.1600061
Molecular Physics 117/21 2020-02-04
2019 Nicolas Hölsch, Maximilian Beyer, Edcel J. Salumbides, Kjeld S. E. Eikema, Wim Ubachs, Christian Jungen, Frédéric Merkt
Benchmarking Theory with an Improved Measurement of the Ionization and Dissociation Energies of H 2
published pages: , ISSN: 0031-9007, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.103002
Physical Review Letters 122/10 2020-02-04
2019 V. Zhelyazkova, M. Žeško*, H. Schmutz, J. A. Agner, F. Merkt
Fluorescence-lifetime-limited trapping of Rydberg helium atoms on a chip
published pages: 2980-2989, ISSN: 0026-8976, DOI: 10.1080/00268976.2019.1600060
Molecular Physics 117/21 2020-02-04
2019 D. Wehrli, M. Génévriez, F. Merkt
Autoionization rates of core-excited magnesium Rydberg atoms in electric fields using the core fluorescence as a reference
published pages: , ISSN: 2469-9926, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.100.012515
Physical Review A 100/1 2020-02-04
2019 Michael Peper, Johannes Deiglmayr, Frédéric Merkt, Carla Sanna, H. B. van Linden van den Heuvell
Magic Rydberg-Rydberg transitions in electric fields
published pages: 32512, ISSN: 2469-9926, DOI: 10.1103/physreva.100.032512
Physical Review A 100/3 2020-02-04
2019 M. Beyer, N. Hölsch, J. Hussels, C.-F. Cheng, E. J. Salumbides, K. S. E. Eikema, W. Ubachs, Ch. Jungen, F. Merkt
Determination of the Interval between the Ground States of Para- and Ortho- H 2
published pages: 163002, ISSN: 0031-9007, DOI: 10.1103/physrevlett.123.163002
Physical Review Letters 123/16 2020-02-04
2018 Nicolas Hölsch, Maximilian Beyer, Frédéric Merkt
Nonadiabatic effects on the positions and lifetimes of the low-lying rovibrational levels of the GK 1 Σ+g and H 1 Σ+g states of H 2
published pages: 26837-26845, ISSN: 1463-9076, DOI: 10.1039/c8cp05233f
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 20/42 2019-04-26
2018 Luca Semeria, Paul Jansen, Gloria Clausen, Josef A. Agner, Hansjürg Schmutz, Frédéric Merkt
Molecular-beam resonance method with Zeeman-decelerated samples: Application to metastable helium molecules
published pages: 62518, ISSN: 2469-9926, DOI: 10.1103/physreva.98.062518
Physical Review A 98/6 2019-04-26
2018 C.-F. Cheng, J. Hussels, M. Niu, H. L. Bethlem, K. S. E. Eikema, E. J. Salumbides, W. Ubachs, M. Beyer, N. Hölsch, J. A. Agner, F. Merkt, L.-G. Tao, S.-M. Hu, Ch. Jungen
Dissociation Energy of the Hydrogen Molecule at 10 − 9 Accuracy
published pages: 13001, ISSN: 0031-9007, DOI: 10.1103/physrevlett.121.013001
Physical Review Letters 121/1 2019-04-26
2018 Maximilian Beyer, Nicolas Hölsch, Josef A. Agner, Johannes Deiglmayr, Hansjürg Schmutz, Frédéric Merkt
Metrology of high- n Rydberg states of molecular hydrogen with Δ ν / ν = 2 × 10 − 10 accuracy
published pages: 12501, ISSN: 2469-9926, DOI: 10.1103/physreva.97.012501
Physical Review A 97/1 2019-04-26
2018 Maximilian Beyer, Frédéric Merkt
Half-Collision Approach to Cold Chemistry: Shape Resonances, Elastic Scattering, and Radiative Association in the H + + H and D + + D Collision Systems
published pages: 31085, ISSN: 2160-3308, DOI: 10.1103/physrevx.8.031085
Physical Review X 8/3 2019-04-26
2018 Maximilian Beyer, Frédéric Merkt
Communication: Heavy-Rydberg states of HD and the electron affinity of the deuterium atom
published pages: 31102, ISSN: 0021-9606, DOI: 10.1063/1.5043186
The Journal of Chemical Physics 149/3 2019-04-26
2017 Maximilian Beyer, Frédéric Merkt
High-resolution photoelectron spectroscopy and calculations of the highest bound levels of ${{rm{D}}}_{2}^{+}$ below the first dissociation threshold
published pages: 154005, ISSN: 0953-4075, DOI: 10.1088/1361-6455/aa7ac9
Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics 50/15 2019-04-26
2018 Paul Jansen, Luca Semeria, Frédéric Merkt
Fundamental vibration frequency and rotational structure of the first excited vibrational level of the molecular helium ion (He2+)
published pages: 154302, ISSN: 0021-9606, DOI: 10.1063/1.5051089
The Journal of Chemical Physics 149/15 2019-04-26
2018 Maximilian Beyer, Frédéric Merkt
Hyperfine-interaction-induced g/u mixing and its implication on the existence of the first excited vibrational level of the A+ Σu+2 state of H2+ and on the scattering length of the H + H + collision
published pages: 214301, ISSN: 0021-9606, DOI: 10.1063/1.5046147
The Journal of Chemical Physics 149/21 2019-04-26
2018 Paul Jansen, Luca Semeria, Frédéric Merkt
Determination of the Spin-Rotation Fine Structure of He 2 +
published pages: 43001, ISSN: 0031-9007, DOI: 10.1103/physrevlett.120.043001
Physical Review Letters 120/4 2019-04-26
2019 M. Génévriez, D. Wehrli, J.A. Agner, F. Merkt
PFI-ZEKE photoelectron spectroscopy of positively charged ions: illustration with Mg+
published pages: 209-216, ISSN: 1387-3806, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijms.2018.10.017
International Journal of Mass Spectrometry 435 2019-04-26

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