Low Energy Collisions in Merged Neutral Molecular Beams

Within this thesis two experiments will be described. In the first experiment a velocity filter was used to obtain a beam of polar molecules (ND3) with a translational temperature of less than 5K. For the first time the dynamics of individual rotational states inside a velocity filter could be investigated directly. Usually a velocity filter defines only a maximumvelocity that can pass the filter. We successfully implemented two different approaches where molecules below a certain minimal velocity are removed from the beam, turning the velocity filter into a bandpass filter. The second and more interesting experiment is the merged beamexperiment. We developed and constructed the first apparatus which successfullymerged two guided beams, one consisting of polar molecules, the other of paramagnetic particles, into an overlapping parallel movement. With this approach we could lower the temperature at which the reaction of metastable Ne* with ND3, NH3 and CH3F has been investigated by 3 orders of magnitude down to the sub-kelvin regime. Especially the stereochemistry of those reactions revealed an unexpected energy-insensitivity at temperatures below 200K. As our setup is very general the investigation of manymore neutral-neutral reactions will be possible, opening a new route into an temperature regime where only a few reactions have been studied before.

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