Highly fluorinated model compounds for matter-wave interferometry

Tüxen, Jens. Highly fluorinated model compounds for matter-wave interferometry. 2012, Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Science.


Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/diss/DissB_9941

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In order to explore the quantum-to-classical transition, the ambition of this thesis was the design and synthesis of tailor-made molecules for matter-wave interference experiments. Firstly, the focus was set on a deeper understanding of the influence of a molecule’s internal structure, especially its polarizability, on quantum interference. Furthermore, the limits of quantum mechanics were addressed by increasing the size of the interfering objects. The metrological aspect of molecule interferometry - to measure influences of molecule properties on the wave nature - is described in the first part of this thesis. Two fourfold perfluorohexyl functionalized constitutional isomers were synthesized in order to demonstrate that different molecular conformations can be distinguished in quantum interference experiments. A tetrahedral isomer and a rod-like oligo(phenylene ethynylene) derivative were applied in a near-field Kapitza-Dirac-Talbot-Lau interferometer. Although de Broglie quantum interference describes the center of mass motion of a massive body, it was shown to be sensitive to the internal molecular structure of the constitutional isomers. The different total susceptibilities of both isomers lead to different de Broglie interference shifts in the presence of external electric fields. The isomers thus become distinguishable in spite of their identical mass and chemical sum formula. Besides metrological applications, a main goal of this thesis was to synthesize model compounds for molecule interferometry to increase the preexisting mass record for quantum interferometry, which was held by the fluorofullerene C60F48 with a molecular weight of 1 633 g/mol. Near-field interferometry is a promising concept to set new records and thus to approach the quantum-to-classical transition. To meet the requirements of quantum studies with complex organic molecules in a Kapitza-Dirac-Talbot-Lau near-field interferometer – high volatility, high stability, and high molecular mass – we chose the functionalization of tetraarylporphyrins with perfluoroalkyl moieties. A modular synthesis of seven perfluoroalkyl-substituted porphyrin derivatives with up to 16 fluorous alkyl chains was presented. With this series in hand, it was possible to observe interference patterns for three of the seven derivatives. The heaviest molecule of this series for which the wave nature has been observed has a 3.3 fold higher molecular weight than the preexisting mass record for quantum interference. These experiments open a new window for quantum experiments with nanoobjects in a complexity class comparable to that of small proteins. The experimental setup of the near-field Kapitza-Dirac-Talbot-Lau interferometer is not restricted to monodisperse and pure starting compounds. It also allows for experiments with compound mixtures because individual components of compound libraries can be detected in the mass spectrometric detection unit. The preparation of porphyrin libraries gave access to compounds in a new mass region (> 10 000 g/mol). Preliminary investigations in near-field interferometers with these structures revealed suitable molecule beam properties. With these porphyrin libraries in hand, it is expected to exceed for the first time the ceiling of 10 000 g/mol for an interfering object in the future. Large, stable, highly volatile and fluorescent molecules were the goal of synthetic work that was performed for novel far-field interference experiments in a setup based on fluorescence detection. For this purpose three fluorescent fluorous phthalocyanine derivatives were prepared. With the help of a new laser-controlled micro-evaporation source it was possible to produce a beam of molecules with the required intensity and coherence. The observation of the wave nature of a free base phthalocyanine having a molecular weight of 1 299 g/mol set a new mass record for far-field molecule interferometry. The preexisting record for far-field interferometry was held by the fullerene C70 with a mass of 841 g/mol. To conclude, major contributions to the exploration of the frontiers of quantum mechanics were achieved by matter-wave interferometry using the perfluoroalkyl-functionalized molecules described in this thesis.
Advisors:Mayor, Marcel
Committee Members:Willitsch, Stefan and Bannwarth, Willi
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Chemie > Chemie > Molecular Devices and Materials (Mayor)
UniBasel Contributors:Tüxen, Jens and Mayor, Marcel and Willitsch, Stefan
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Doctoral Thesis
Thesis no:9941
Thesis status:Complete
Number of Pages:230 p.
Identification Number:
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:22 Apr 2018 04:31
Deposited On:17 Jul 2012 13:18

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