Ionisation mechanisms of captive atoms struck by light matter (Vol. 48, No. 3)

Ejected electron spectrum of the bare and caged hydrogen atom subjected to an external light pulse

Physicists elucidate the effects of light rays falling onto hydrogen atoms trapped in a carbon atom cage.

Light interacting with hydrogen atoms enclosed in hollow cages composed of carbon atoms—referred to as fullerene material—produces ionisation. This phenomenon, which has been the subject of intense theoretical scrutiny, is particularly interesting because the light rays can have dramatic effects in inducing small external energy potentials. Specifically, they alter the structural and dynamic properties of the atoms confined within the fullerene molecule. The authors have just published a study explaining the theory behind the ionisation. Applications of this process include drug delivery, quantum computation, photovoltaics and hydrogen storage.

A. L. Frapiccini, G. Gasaneo and D. M. Mitnik, Generalized Sturmians in the time-dependent frame: effect of a fullerene confining potential, Eur. Phys. J. D 71, 40 (2017)