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Molecular Dynamics and Control, and Biomolecular studies

Principal Investigators

Dr. Vaibhav S.Prabhudesai


We study the structure and dynamics of molecular ions in gas phase and in condensed phase. The molecules we study range from the simplest like H2 to the complex proteins.

The ultimate goal is to control the molecular dynamics using electrons and/or photons leading to the control of chemical reactions. These studies are important for various applications involving astrochemistry, radiation damage and therapy and plasma processes. We also study the radiation induced damage to biomolecules like DNA, proteins, etc. at single molecular level relevant to radiation therapy of tumours.

Equipment and facilities
Velocity Slice Imaging Set up

We use the time of flight mass spectrometry along with ion momentum imaging. Nanosecond lasers are used to study the excited state molecules-electron interactions in gas phase and FTIR spectrometer to study the chemical changes induced by low energy electrons in the condensed molecular films. For studies of radiation induced damage to biomolecules we use electron irradiator, MALDI mass spectrometer and various molecular biology techniques for evaluating radiation damage.

Most Important Results

Control of molecular dissociation using low energy electrons: First demonstration of selective breaking of O-H, C-H and N-H bonds in simple organic molecules electron energy as control parameter.

Unravelling the structure and dynamics of transient molecular negative ions: The structure and dynamics of transient molecular negative ions formed in low energy electron interaction has been studied for the first time using a novel ion momentum imaging.

Sub ionization Low energy electrons break DNA and proteins.