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Electrons 'Self-Trap' on Crystal Surfaces

Photonics Spectra
Mar 1998
For years, scientists have sought answers to questions about the microscopic properties of solid surfaces and interfaces. The end of that search may be a little closer, in light of a paper recently published by a team of researchers from the University of California at Berkeley.
The team discovered that when a probe laser pulse strikes a thin molecular film of ordered alkane adsorbed on a silver surface, a strange reaction occurs: The electrons localize -- or "self-trap" -- for a few femto-
seconds. Self-trapping causes a change in the reflection angles.
This discovery could have far-reaching results such as enabling researchers to better understand the dynamics of excess electrons in liquids and the electron transfer reactions in large molecules, including photosynthetic reaction centers.


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