Deuterium atoms and molecules in nanoclusters of molecular deuterium Academic Article uri icon


  • Impurity-helium solids created by injecting deuterium atoms and molecules into superfluid 4He have been studied via x-ray-diffraction and electron-spin-resonance (ESR) techniques. X-ray-diffraction measurements show that these solids are highly porous gel-like structures consisting of D2 clusters with the characteristic cluster size of 9030. The densities of D2 molecules in the samples are 71020-31021cm-3. Each of the D2 clusters are either partially or totally surrounded by thin layers of adsorbed helium which may play an important role in preventing the coalescence of the clusters into larger crystallites of solid D2. Using ESR, we find that average concentrations of D atoms of order 11018cm-3 can be achieved in our samples. Measurements of the ground-state spectroscopic parameters and relaxation times of atomic deuterium show that the D atoms reside in the D2 clusters. The combined x-ray and ESR data show that local concentrations of D atoms as large as 21019cm-3 are obtained in our experiments. The highly porous deuterium nanostructures studied in this work are promising for the production of high concentrations of ultracold neutrons and for significant nuclear polarization of D2 molecules by the brute force method at low temperatures. 2004 The American Physical Society.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Bernard, E. P., Boltnev, R. E., Khmelenko, V. V., Kiryukhin, V., Kiselev, S. I., & Lee, D. M.

complete list of authors

  • Bernard, EP||Boltnev, RE||Khmelenko, VV||Kiryukhin, V||Kiselev, SI||Lee, DM

publication date

  • January 1, 2004 11:11 AM