Alexander (Sander) Lemmens, from the Groups of Prof. Dr. Wybren Jan Buma (UvA)) and Dr. Anouk M. Rijs (Radboud University) will visit Prof. dr. Mattanjah de Vries, at University of California, Santa Barbara, CA Awarded by Stichting John van Geuns
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are most likely to be responsible for the infrared emission observed from gaseous and dusty regions in the interstellar medium referred to as unidentified infrared bands (UIRs). Much effort has been put into analyzing the IR emission spectra and determining the size distribution and structure of the PAHs in the interstellar medium, but so far not a single PAH has been identified. At the basis of this analysis are laboratory experiments that serve as a reference for theoretical models or for direct comparison. In this project, we use laser spectroscopic techniques to acquire high-resolution absorption spectra of PAHs under the right conditions, i.e. isolated and cold. With the visit to the de Vries group, we plan to use complementary techniques such as stimulated emission pumping to gain insights from a different angle into the photophysical properties of PAHs. It will not only aid in the analysis of data recorded previously in our own lab, but will also provide new quantitative measurements of processes in PAHs that occur upon the absorption of light.