Experimental Techniques on Molecular Physics


The main goal of this unit is to provide students with technical knowleadge and skills on Applied Atomic and Molecular Physics to Physical and Biomedical Engineering, among many others. This unit also aims at providing a reasonable technical approach to allow students to develop technical domain and well as earlier stage topuch with research, facing different sort of technical chalanges and applications.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Paulo Manuel Assis Loureiro Limão Vieira


Weekly - 2

Total - 28

Teaching language



Previous knowleadge in:

Quantum mechanics

Atomic and Molecular Physics

Vacuum and Charged Particles Technologies



  • Gaseous Molecular Ions, E Illenberger, J Momigny, Springer Verlag NY, 1992.
  • Atomic and Molecular Collisions, Sir Harrie Massey, Taylor and Francis, Ltd., 1979.
  • Molecular Reaction Dynamics and Chemical Reactivity, R D Levine and R Bernstein, Oxford University Press, 1987.

Teaching method

Lectures. Problems solving. Examples.

Planned visits to several R&D laboratories within FCT-UNL.

Evaluation method


Subject matter

1.       TOF - Time-of-flight mass spectrometry;

Development of a TOF mass spectrometer (acceleration voltageseracao and beam collimation, mass callibration, ...)

Mass resolution, spatial and temporal distribution, kinetic energy release distribution;

Anion and cation production and detection;

Secondary beams production (e.g.. effusive beams, heating ovens);

Instrumentation (pulse generators, syncronous signal aquisition systems).


2.      Charge transfer in atom-molecule collision experiments (relvant to atmospheric, industrial and biological molecules);

Hyperthermal neutral potassium beam production (alkali atoms);

Neutral secondary species production (e.g. Langmuir-Taylor detector);

Dispersion and functional dependence of neutral beams;

Secondary beams preparation (e.g. effusive beams, heating ovens);

Development of relevant instrumentation.


3.       Dissociative Electron Attachment Processes in molecules (relvant to atmospheric, industrial and biological molecules);

Low-energy electron beam production (~ 70 meV);

Throcoidal electron monochromator with external magnetic field;

Production and collimation of low-energy electron beams (e.g. Faraday cups);

Secondary beam production (e.g.. effusive beams, heating ovens);

Development of proper instrumentation.