Research CommentariesSUPERFLUID HELIUM

The Ultimate Spectroscopic Matrix?

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Science  27 Mar 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5359, pp. 2065-2066
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5359.2065

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The method of choice for chemists interested in studying highly unstable molecules is cluster-isolation spectroscopy, in which the species under scrutiny is captured in a protective cluster of low-temperature noble-gas atoms. In their research commentary, Lehmann and Scoles discuss results presented in the same issue by Grebenev et al. in which molecules were embedded in superfluid helium clusters. The findings open up new avenues for cluster spectroscopy in chemistry, as well as allow investigation of fundamental issues in superfluid physics at the nanoscale level.