In our laboratory we have access to the following instruments:

Ultra-high vacuum chamber

In development, the chamber is already used to study the thermal desorption of molecules from surfaces and irradiation-triggered chemical reactions in ices.

Closed-cycle He cryocooler (ARS DE-204SB)

Quadrupole mass spectrometer (Hositrad)

H2D2 light source (Hamamatsu L11798)

Photograph coming soon.

Laser ablation and solid-particle beam apparatus

Photograph coming soon.

The apparatus is used to synthesize small solid particles that are analogues of cosmic dust grains. Laser ablation of a solid target is performed in the presence of a quenching gas in the first of three differentially pumped chambers. The vaporized matter condenses into small grains which are carried away by the quenching gas that flows through a nozzle into the second chamber where it expands. The free expansion, seeded with the grains that have stopped growing, is sampled by a skimmer to form a beam of solid particles in the third chamber. The particles can be collected in this chamber or directed toward a fourth chamber (see below) where they can be processed by exposure to heat or VUV photons, and studied by FTIR absorption spectroscopy and UV/vis spectroscopy too.

Nd:YAG laser (532 nm; Continuum Surelite)


Processing and spectroscopy chamber

This vacuum chamber is equipped with a He closed-cycle cryocooler fitted with a high-temperature interface, which allows us to bring and keep the sample holder to any temperature between 10 and 800 K. The chamber is coupled to an FTIR spectrometer by means of mirrors placed in an evacuated optical path. Supplementary ports are used to connect the chamber to the laser ablation and solid-particle beam apparatus (see above), to a UV/vis spectrophotometer via optical fibers, or to mount a H2 discharge lamp to irradiate the samples with VUV photons. The chamber is also used to carry out IR and UV/vis matrix-isolation spectroscopy.

Closed-cycle He cryocooler (ARS DE-204SL)

FTIR spectrometer (Bruker VERTEX 80v)

H2 discharge lamp

Photograph coming soon.


He droplet experiment

Differentially pumped 5-stage He cluster/ droplet beam apparatus

Liquid helium-cooled supersonic jet source

Quadrupole mass spectrometer

Nd:YAG laser (1064 nm, 532 nm, 355 nm; Continuum NY81-20) + dye laser (Lambda Physik Scanmate 1)

Atomic carbon source (in-house developed, patented)

Atomic hydrogen source (HABS; MBE-Komponenten)


CVD chamber

In construction, the apparatus will initially allow us to study the condensation of C atoms on surfaces from cryogenic temperatures (about 10 K) to high temperatures (1400 K), and the action of H atoms on carbonaceous materials in the same range of temperatures. The effect of VUV irradiation on the processes is to be studied too.

Quadrupole mass spectrometer (Pfeiffer)

Closed-cycle He cryocooler (APD Cryogenics DE-204SLA)

Atomic carbon source (in-house developed, patented)

Atomic hydrogen source (HABS; MBE-Komponenten)

Photograph coming soon.


Matrix-isolation spectrometer

This setup allows us to measure the UV/vis spectrum of molecules isolated in Ne or Ar matrices. Species in the solid state under normal conditions are brought into the gas phase by thermal evaporation in an oven or by laser vaporization. Isolated species can be ionized by using a H2 discharge lamp.

Closed-cycle He cryocooler ARS DE-204SL for sample cooling (6.5 K)

UV-VIS-NIR spectrometer with optical fibers (Jasco V-670 EX)

Nd:YAG laser (1064 nm, 532 nm, 355 nm, 266 nm; Continuum Minilite II) for laser vaporization

Thermal evaporation source


Supersonic-jet laser spectrometer

Vacuum chamber housing a heated pulsed valve or a laser-ablation source

Nd:YAG laser (1064 nm, 532 nm, 355 nm; Continuum Surelite II-20) + dye laser (Continuum ND6000) + SHG stage (Continuum UVT-1) for spectroscopy

Photomultiplier (Hamamatsu H6780-04) as CRDS optical detector

Photomultiplier (THORN EMI 9813QB) as LIF detector

Monochromator (Jobin Yvon HR-320) and CCD camera (Andor iDus DV420A-BU2) as dispersed emission detector

Digital oscilloscope (Tektronix TDS3052)

Nd:YAG lasers (1064 nm, 532 nm, 355 nm, 266 nm; Continuum Minilite I) for laser vaporization


Synthesis of carbon particles and molecules

Flow reactor

cw CO2 laser (Synrad Firestar ti FSTi100SWB; wavelength: 10.6 µm; power: 100 W)

High-performance liquide chromatograph (Jasco system with delivery pumps PU-2080 Plus and diode array detector MD-2010 Plus)


Cluster beam apparatus

A flow reactor is mounted into the source chamber of a molecular beam machine. A pulsed CO2 laser (Urenco ML104, laser pulse energy: 40 mJ, repetition rate: 20 Hz) initiates the pyrolysis of the reactant gases (SiH4 and GeH4 with total flow rate: 15.5 sccm; helium buffer gas: 1100 sccm). A mechanical size selection of the clusters is achieved with a chopper. The size of the synthesized nanocrystals is determined in situ by time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The sample collection in the cluster beam is performed on substrates like mica, SiO2, and polymers.

ArF excimer laser (Lambda Physik OPTex PRO; 193 nm for ionization)


Atomic force microscope

Multimode AFM (Veeco) with controller (Digital Instruments Nanoscope III)

Stereo microscope (Carl Zeiss Stemi 2000-C) with CCD camera (Spindler & Hoyer 230 C) and monitor


Other facilities

Through cooperations with other institutes of the Physics Department of the University of Jena, we have also access to the following instruments:

Institute for Solid-State Physics:

Ion implanters; Rutherford backscattering spectrometer.

Astrophysical Institute:

Fourier transform IR spectrometer; Raman microscope spectrometer; UV-VIS-NIR spectrometer; VUV spectrometer.

Institute of Materials Science and Technology:

High-resolution transmission electron microscope (HRTEM): JEOL JEM 3010 with LaB6 cathode operating at an acceleration voltage of 300 kV and equipped for energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy.