Investigating positron scattering from massive molecular targets

 To investigate quantum properties that cannot be tested with electrons, new research looks at positron scattering from rare gas atoms encapsulated in carbon 60.

positron scattering

Particle scattering is an important test for atoms and larger molecules' quantum properties. While electrons have traditionally dominated these experiments, their positively charged antimatter counterparts? — positrons? When negatively charged particles are insufficient, positively charged particles can be used in promising applications.

The scattering of positrons from rare gas atoms stuffed inside fullerenes – so-called "rare gas endohedrals" – is investigated in a new paper published in EPJ D. Km Akanksha Dubey of the Indian Institute of Technology Patna in Patna, Bihta, India, and Marcelo Ciappina of the Guangdong Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Shantou, China, wrote the paper.

"Our main goal was to look into positron scattering processes with rare gas endohedrals." "We considered positron scattering from bare C60 targets as a reference to the endohedral system," Ciappina says. ""We chose rare gas atoms for encapsulation inside carbon 60 (C60) in our study because they are likely the most popular and studied endohedrals." Rare gas endohedrals are extremely stable formations; the encapsulated atoms find equilibrium near the geometrical center of the C60."

The findings build on previous research involving the collision of positrons with giant targets such as C60 and rare gas endohedrals. The main difference is that resonance scattering with different sizes of encaged atoms is elucidated in comparison to bare C60 scattering; resonances are also tested under the projectile-target complex's different scattering fields.

"We were surprised to find that resonance formations in rare gas endohedrals differ from the case of positron-C60 collision, despite the fact that the dominant scattering field in positron scattering is repulsive in nature," Ciappina says. The resonances at lower energies are significantly influenced by alternative scattering fields.

"As a result, scattering resonances in positron scattering naturally reside in C60 and rare gas endohedrals, and the resonance states can be advantageously manipulated by keeping the rare gas atoms inside it."

With new insights into many aspects of such collision processes, potential applications for the paper's findings include positron beam spectroscopy and nanomaterials research.

Source: Materials provided by Springer.

Reference: DOI: 10.1140/epjd/s10053-022-00390-x


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