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Experimental Spectroscopy Atmospheric

Milaim Kas


  • BA in Chemistry, ULB (2008-2011)
  • MA in Chemistry, ULB (2011-2013)
  • Master Thesis: Etude ab initio des complexes formés par l'ammoniac avec un atome de gaz rare et du système NH3-Xe chargé (2013-2014)
  • Internship at the German space agency (Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt): Raman spectroscopy of meteorite and planet analog materials, water, ice, liquid and freezing salt solution, DLR Berlin (2013-2014)
  • PhD student in Sciences, ULB, FRIA grant (2014-present)

PhD project

Cold chemistry of molecular anions
The purpose of the project is to study the structure and dynamics of molecular anions in the cold and ultracold regime by means of theoretical methods. Molecular anions have recently been identified in the interstellar medium (ISM), planetary atmosphere and cometary tails. These discoveries have brought more and more attention to the study of anions in a astrochemical context, up to now mainly limited to the cationic species. Moreover, recent co-trapping experiment have started to investigate anionic systems. Anions exhibit different behaviour than cation or neutral species such as associative detachment reaction and strong VDW complexes, they are challenging for quantum chemistry calculation.
The project will start with the study of the structure and dynamics of the Rb-OH- system and will latter focus on water cluster complexes OH(H2O)n- which are supposed to exist in cometary tail environments. This should bring new insight into the existing models which seem to underestimate the OH- anions abundance.
The theoretical part of the project will be carried out at the ULB, in the 'Chimie Quantique et Photophysique' group, using accurate ab initio calculations for characterization of the structure (potential energy surface, non-adiabatic coupling and transition properties) and time dependent methods for the dynamics. In addition to the investigation of the mentioned system, the project will also imply the development and implementation of methods dedicated to anionic systems.
The experiment is taking place in Heidelberg, Germany, at the 'Physikalisches Institut Universität Heidelberg' in the 'Quantum Dynamics of Atomic and Molecular Systems' group of Pr. Weidemüller, with which we started a collaboration. The systems of interest will be studied using a new experimental setup called HAItrap for 'Hybrid atomic ion trap'. It combines a octopole ion trap with a dark spot magneto optical trap allowing the study of collisions between neutral atoms and molecular (or atomic) ions. The aim is to achieve sympathetic cooling of molecular ions and to study their behaviour at low temperature.


See here.

Université Libre de Bruxelles – Faculté des Sciences