Working Group 4

Helium Nanodroplets in Science and Engineering

Deals with helium nanodroplets as unique nano-cryo reactors for aggregating, cooling, and probing molecular complexes, metallic clusters and exotic nanoparticles. The structure and dynamics of both the embedded aggregates and of the quantum fluid helium nanodroplets are experimentally probed by IR, high-resolution and time-resolved laser spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, charged-particle imaging, single-particle x-ray diffraction imaging, and surface deposition. Helium nanodroplets impacting a surface allows the realization of `soft-landing deposition’, that is transferring embedded aggregates from the quantum liquid droplets onto substrates with minimal structure changes. Theoretical tools will combine quantum [(time-dependent) density functional theory], semiclassical and classical methods for the He atom motion. This first meeting will address specific systems produced by helium-droplet-mediated synthesis and surface deposition: (i) multi-component metal and metal-oxide clusters, nanoparticles, and single atoms; (ii) nano-aggregates probed in situ by x-ray coherent diffraction imaging; iii) organic (donor-acceptor) light-harvesting complexes; (iv) solvated, microhydrated molecules and organic complexes relevant for biology; (v) hydrocarbon clusters and molecules forming prebiotic species at star-dust conditions.