Studying positron scattering from giant molecular targets – ScienceDaily


Particle scattering is an important test of the quantum properties of atoms and larger molecules. While electrons have historically dominated these experiments, are their positively charged antimatter counterparts? — ?positrons? — ?can be used in promising applications when the negatively charged particles are not suitable.

A new paper published in EPJ D investigates the scattering of positrons from noble gas atoms stuffed into the fullerenes – so-called “noble gas endohedra”. The paper was authored by Km Akanksha Dubey of Indian Institute of Technology Patna, Patna, Bihta, India and Marcelo Ciappina, Guangdong Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Shantou, China.

“Our focus was on the investigation of positron scattering processes at noble gas endohedrals. As a reference to the endohedral system, we also considered positron scattering from bare C60 Targets,” says Ciappina. “In our study, we selected noble gas atoms for encapsulation in carbon 60 (C60), as they are probably the most popular and well-studied endohedrals. Noble gas endohedrals are very stable formations; the encapsulated atoms find their equilibrium positions almost at the geometric center of the C60.”

The study builds on the results of previous studies involving the collision of positrons with giant targets such as C60 and noble gas endohedrals. The main difference is that resonance scattering is elucidated at different sizes of the trapped atoms compared to bare C60 Scattering; Resonances are also tested under the various stray fields of the projectile-target complex.

“To our surprise, the resonance formations in the noble gas endohedra are altered compared to the case of positron-C60 Collision, although the dominant fringing field in positron scattering is inherently repulsive,” Ciappina says. The resonances at the lower energy are significantly affected by several alternatively considered fringing fields.

“Thus, scattered resonances in positron scattering find their natural place of residence in the C60 and noble gas endohedra, and the resonance states can be favorably manipulated by keeping the noble gas atoms therein.

With insights into many aspects of such collision processes, potential applications for the paper’s results could range from areas such as positron beam spectroscopy and the study of nanomaterials.

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