Instrumentation for Gas Electron-Diffraction Employing a Pulsed Electron-Beam Synchronous with Photoexcitation

by Ewbank, John David; Faust, Walter L.; Luo, Jing Y.; English, Jeffrey T.; Monts, David L.; Paul, David W.; Dou, Qun; Schäfer, Lothar

A novel instrument is described capable of recording gas electron diffraction (GED) patterns of excited molecular states or transient species with pulsed electron beams. The system incorporates (1) a pulsed optical beam for electronic excitation of materials under study, (2) a synchronously pulsed source of 30-50 keV electrons in a space-charge-limited beam, (3) necessary vacuum environment and sample-handling capabilities, and (4) detection and signal processing equipment using an on-line procedure developed at the University of Arkansas. Data obtained for several test gases demonstrate successful operation of the instrument. The 193 nm laser photofragmentation of carbon disulfide, CS2, is described in detail. In agreement with a recent time-of-flight mass spectrometric study of the same process, carbon monosulfide was observed as the reaction product. This study is the first quantitatively successful joint exercise of on-line multichannel GED data recording and a stroboscopic electron source. The method is expected to be generally useful in determining the structures of excited molecular states or reactive species, and it may enable studies of time-dependent phenomena. The current time resolution is approximately 20 ns.

Review of Scientific Instruments
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