Nano Group at the University of Leicester



There are a number of distinct experiments in our laboratory. We are also equipped with numerous lasers for spectroscopy experiments, including multiple dye lasers and two optical parametric oscillators.


Helium droplet system I

Our original helium nanodroplet system, first constructed in 2004. It is equipped with both time-of-flight and quadrupole mass spectrometers. It is also has the ability to add metallic dopants to the research.




Helium droplet system II

This apparatus was designed specifically for growing nanoparticles in helium droplets. Construction was completed in 2012. This system is capable of forming very large helium droplets, with up to 1012 helium atoms per droplet. It also has several ovens which allow the addition of different metal vapours (an example is shown below). A deposition station downstream of the ovens allows any nano-object to be soft-landed onto a deposition target which can then be rapidly removed, e.g. for microscopy. We have access to several high resolution microscopes including TEM, AFM and STM systems.




Helium droplet system III

Our newest helium droplet system, built in 2013, is aimed mainly at experiments using laser spectroscopy. It is equipped with a quadrupole mass spectrometer and has both a dye laser and an OPO for spectroscopic excitation.




Molecular beam system

This is a standard pulsed molecular beam apparatus. Molecules can be entrained into a supersonic jet using laser ablation and after cooling a molecular beam is formed pass the central portion of the jet through a skimmer. Techniques such as REMPI and depletion spectroscopy can then be used using single or two-colour laser excitation, with both dye lasers and an OPO being available.