Helium Nanodroplet Isolation Spectroscopy in an Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory

2020-05-14T13:32:36Z (GMT) by Paul Raston
A home-built helium nanodroplet isolation spectrometer has been utilized by
undergraduate students in course-based experiments to investigate the rovibrational dynamics
of small molecules. Helium nanodroplets are well known to simplify the spectroscopy of
embedded molecules owing to their low temperature (0.4 K) and weakly interacting nature.
In the infrared spectral region, this results in a small number of rotationally resolved lines that
can often be collected and analyzed in several lab periods. We demonstrate the advantages of
using this technique in an upper-level undergraduate chemistry course for which the laser
spectroscopy of helium solvated 13C-labelled formic acid was investigated for the first time.