The Atomic, Molecular and Optical Sciences program at LBNL seeks to answer fundamental questions in atomic, molecular and chemical sciences that are central to the mission of the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The essential strategy is to apply a broad span of existing and currently emerging general tools such as synchrotron radiation, free-electron lasers, optical lasers, laboratory-based extreme ultraviolet sources, and low-energy electron beams, in combination with the development of stateof-the-art experimental techniques and advanced theoretical methodologies, to enable studies across a broad range of time scales and types of systems.
This approach provides deep insight into the chemistry and physics of the fundamental interactions that drive key chemical processes in simple molecules, complex molecular systems and molecules in complex environments. The current emphasis of the program is in three general areas with important connections and overlap:
- inner-shell photo-ionization, multiple-ionization and dissociation dynamics of small molecules,
- time-resolved studies of charge dynamics involving molecules in the gas phase, in clusters and at interfaces using a combination of attosecond to picosecond x-ray and laser pulses, and
- low-energy electron impact excitation and dissociative electron attachment to molecules and molecular clusters.
The theory component of the program focuses on the development of new computational and theoretical methods for describing from first-principles the complex multi-atom and multi-electron quantum states and processes that play key roles in these systems. The theory and experimental parts of the program are closely coupled. They are designed to work together to tackle problems of scale that are not accessible without a strong and continuous collaboration and interaction.