Physics with colder molecular ions:
The Heidelberg Cryogenic Storage Ring CSR
D Zajfman,1,2A Wolf,2D Schwalm,2DA Orlov,2M Grieser,2R von Hahn,2
CP Welsch,2JR Crespo Lopez-Urrutia,2CD Schr¨ oter,2X Urbain3and J Ullrich2
1Department of Particle Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel
2Max-Planck Institut f¨ ur Kernphysik, Heidelberg, Germany
3Department de Physique, Universite Catholique de Louvain B-1348 Louvain La Neuve, Belgium
for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg. The machine is expected to operate at low temperatures (∼ 2K) and to
store beams with kinetic energies between 20 to 300keV. An electron target based on cooled photocathode
technology will serve as a major tool for the study of reactions between molecular ions and electrons.
Moreover, atomic beamscan bemergedandcrossedwiththestoredionbeamsallowing foratommolecular-
ion collision studies at very low up to high relative energies. The proposed experimental program, centered
around the physics of cold molecular ions, is shortly outlined.
A novel cryogenic electrostatic storage ring is planned to be built at the Max-Planck Institute
During the last decade, it has been demonstrated that the use of heavy-ion storage ring techniques to
obtain new information on the dynamics of molecular ion reactions has been highly profitable [1–5].
There are several advantages of using stored fast beams, the most prominent ones being (1) the fact that
it is possible to thermalize the internal excitation (vibrational and rotational) so that the internal energy
is in equilibrium with the black body radiation emitted by the storage ring wall (∼ 300K), and (2) the
phase space cooling of the ion beam with the so-called electron cooler. In particular, the impact of the
heavy ion storage ring technique on the field of dissociative recombination (DR) of small molecular ions
has been exceptional and is well documented (see review by Larsson ).
In spite of the advantages described above, the black body radiation present in the existing heavy-ion
storage rings has become a serious limitation on the ability to compare directly experimental data with
theoretical results, especially because of the unknown rotational distribution of the stored ions, which
often need longer storage times to reach even the 300K limit [6,7]. Also, the need for providing fast
beams of molecular ions in a single quantum state has become more urgent, both because the precision of
the experiments has increased, and the theoretical prediction of strong rotational dependences for several
key DR reactions [7,8]. Moreover, the increased interest in astro-chemistry and the large amount of
data recently collected concerning the composition of the interstellar medium present a real challenge
for modelers, who need as input a variety of reaction rate coefficients measured at low temperature.
Among these reactions are not only the DR reactions but also electron impact rotational and vibrational
excitations and de-excitations, as well as ion-neutral reactions. In addition, the storage ring, as an
experimental platform, can be used for experiments which, if performed at low temperature, would
provide new results in the field of molecular dynamics.
Institute of Physics Publishing
Journal of Physics: Conference Series 4 (2005) 296–299
Sixth International Conference on Dissociative Recombination
296© 2005 IOP Publishing Ltd
In the following, we describe in short the plans which are presently being pursued at the Max-Planck
Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg, for building a next generation, cryogenic storage ring (CSR).
We mainly focus on molecular ion physics experiments that could run on such a machine; additional
scientific programs related to highly charged ions and fast ion-neutral collision dynamics through the use
of an in-ring reaction microscope are only shortly mentioned.
2. The cryogenic storage ring
The electrostatic storage ring is planned to be cooled down to a temperature of ∼ 2K. This has two
important implications: First, it will lead to extremely low rest-gas pressures which allow to reach the
long storage times needed to complete radiative rotational cooling, and second, it will drastically reduce
the blackbody radiation which makes it possible to achieve and store molecular ions in their rotational
ground state. Moreover, controlled changes of the temperature will allow for measurements such as
reaction rates to be performed under well defined temperature conditions. The energy of the stored ions
is foreseen to be adjustable between ∼ 20keV and ∼ 300keV (per charge) by using an internal RF
cavity, and since the ring will only employ electrostatic fields there is no mass limit for the storage of
heavy molecular species.
The new storage ring will be equipped with an electron target, mounted in a merged beam
configuration in one of the arms of the CSR, which is employing the cryogenic photocathode technique
developed in Heidelberg  to produce extremely cold electron beams. Such an electron target has been
recently installed at the test storage ring (TSR) in Heidelberg and has already demonstrated superior
transverse energy resolution (∼ 500µeV). Preliminary calculations have also shown that at least for
light ions phase space cooling with such an electron beam is possible.
Additionally, it will be possible to perform reaction studies with fast neutral atomic beams in a merged
beam geometry with the stored, state selected molecular ion beam. The atomic beam will be produced by
photodetachment of negative ions extracted from an external ion source, and its velocity will be tunable
so that cross section measurements can be carried out at very low relative energies. Similarly, a crossed
atomic or molecular beam target equipped with an electron and ion momentum imaging system will be
installed to study atomic multi-electron reaction dynamics, taking advantage of the high flux of stored,
Ion detection at keV energies is usually more difficult than in the MeV range subtended in magnetic
storage rings, where standard silicon or scintillation detectors can be used to count the reaction products
with 100% efficiency. For the CSR we are therefore making preparations to use beside the standard
technique of micro-channel plate detection novel cryogenic detectors, which fit well with the cold
ring environment. These detectors , which are magnetic micro-calorimeters, have the advantage
of reaching 100 % detection efficiencies even for very low kinetic energy particles, so that absolute cross
section measurements can be carried out.
The overall circumference of the storage ring, with its detailed layout presently under discussion,
is envisaged to be about 35m. Special care has to be taken to minimize the cryogenic power needed
for keeping the ring at the requested low temperature and to secure the required low rest gas pressure,
and different approaches are currently under investigation. A ∼ 3m long prototype is planned to be
constructed in order to test these different options.
3. Physics: The quantum reaction dynamics of cold molecular ions
The proposed development will point out new directions for the storage of atomic and molecular ions and
related techniques such as: (a) strongly increased storage times; (b) an almost radiation free environment;
(c) lower beam velocities; (d) storage and cooling of ions in very high charge states at low beam
velocity; (e) storage of molecular species in a wide mass range; (f) electron beam technique and (g)
low temperature detector technology. After completion of the basic setup a versatile, high performance
cryogenic cooler ring will enable a large experimental program, extending into many areas. Some of the
anticipated new research opportunities are described in the following.
The electron impact rotational and vibrational excitation of cold molecular ions is a central process
in the interstellar medium. Although many theoretical calculations exist , there is no experimental
data available for these reactions. Initial results  obtained at the TSR storage ring for vibrational
de-excitation have shown large discrepancies with existing calculations, and further work is needed to
asses the reasons behind this disagreement. The experiments will allow direct comparison with theory,
and will help to improve the modeling of interstellar molecular clouds.
We plan to study in details the rotational effects in the process of dissociative recombination of
molecular ions with low temperature electrons (<10K) including aspects related to the many-particle
dissociation dynamics and the chemical branching ratio. Moreover, for cold molecular ions, the high
resolution electron target (<1meV) will allow for the probing of single Rydberg resonances for fully
resolved rotational initial quantum states. Further, we plan to study the electron induced rotational and
vibrational excitation of molecular ions, on a state to state basis, using both laser tagging and imaging
technology. Infrared laser studies on the stored molecular ions will allow to tag specific states or to
perform direct population transfer. As the molecular ions are in their ground rotational states, efficient
production of single excited states is possible, hence opening the way toward controlling the internal
excitation of the stored ions.
For larger molecular systems, such as ionic clusters, the low temperature environment will allow to
investigate weakly bound systems (e.g. hydrogen clusters) and to measure their properties and cooling
mechanism. Evaporation and fragmentation processes induced either by low energy electrons or by
photo-excitation will be studied in detail and will provide new insight in the many-body dissociation
dynamics of large systems . At even larger scale, the possibility to store large molecular ions of
biological relevance in the cryogenic electrostatic storage ring will allow to study some of their properties
and differences between gas-phase, liquid phase and true biological environments . The interaction
between these bio-molecules and low energy electrons or photons will allow us to probe bond breaking
processes  and to study the so called collision activated dissociation. The main advantage here is that
all products (charged and neutral) can be analyzed using the new superconductor detection technique, so
that we expect to be able to identify the fragmentation pattern in a unique way.
As pointed out above, the CSR will be equipped with a merged (neutral) atomic beam, where low
velocity atom - molecular ion collisions will be studied. With such a setup we hope to clarify the effect
of rotations in low temperature atom - molecular ion exchange collisions, and go beyond the classic
ion-induced dipole Langevin-type description which is implying an inverse velocity dependence for the
cross section . Deuteration processes, which are critical in the modeling of interstellar clouds, will
be measured under conditions which are equivalent to those existing in space. Since the total available
energy in these reactions is already significantly changed by the excitation of the lowest rotational or fine
structure states of the reactants, the low temperature is critical to achieve reliable results.
The CSR is also planned to be used for the storage of slow, very highly charged ions. The expected
low pressure in the ring should allow for lifetimes which are sufficiently long so that experiments with
these ions and the cold atomic target can be carried out. These experiments will permit the study of many
electron transfer reactions with unsurpassed precision.
In summary, the completed cryogenic storage ring will be a unique facility where many aspects related to
the dynamics of ionic systems, both small and large, can be probed. The interactions of highly charged
ions and cold molecular ions with photons, electrons, neutral atoms and strong fs-lasers, in connection
with kinematically complete detection of all products, constitute a unique laboratory yielding state-to-
state reconstruction of these elementary processes under controlled conditions.
References Download full-text
 Habs D et al. 1989 Nucl. Inst. and Meth. B 43 390
 Str¨ omholm C, Semaniak J, Rosen S, Danared H, Datz S, van der Zande W and Larsson M 1996 Phys. Rev. A 54 3086
 Andersen LH, Andersen T and Hvelplund P 1998 Advances in Atomic Molecular And Optical Physics 38 155
 Larsson M 2000 Adv. Ser. in Phys. Chem. vol 10: Photoionization and Photodetachment ed Ng C-Y (Singapore: World
 AndersenLH2001Photonic, ElectronicandAtomicCollisions, Proc.ICPEACXXII,SantaFe, NewMexicoedBurgd¨ orfer
et al. (Princeton: Rinton Press) p 292
 Lammich L et al. 2003 Phys. Rev. Lett. 91 143201
 Carata L, Orel AE, and Suzor-Weiner A 1999 Phys. Rev. A 59 2804
 Kokoouline V and Greene CH 2004 Phys. Rev. A 69 032711
 Orlov DA, Hoppe M, Weigel U, Schwalm D, Terekhov AS and Wolf A 2001 Appl. Phys. Lett. 78 2721
 Enss C 2000 Physica B 280 515
 Faure A and Tennyson J 2002 J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 35 3945
 Krohn S, Amitay Z, Baer A, Zajfman D, Lange M, Knoll L, Levin J, Schwalm D, Wester R and Wolf A 2000 Phys. Rev.
A 62 032713
 Tossi P et al. 1991 Phys. Rev. Lett. 67 1254
 Hansen K, Andersen JU, Hvelplund P, Møller SP, Pedersen UV and Petrunin VV 2001 Phys. Rev. Lett. 87 123401
 Tanabe T and Noda K 2003 Nucl. Instrum. Methods in Physics Research A 496 233
 Sanche L 1994 Photonic, Electronic and Atomic Collisions, Proc. ICPEAC XXII, Santa Fe, New Mexico ed Burgd¨ orfer et
al. (Princeton: Rinton Press) p 50