CLEMSON, South Carolina – In August, a study conducted by physics and astronomy professors Chad Sosolik and Joan Marler was highlighted in the American Institute of Physics’ publication, titled “Scilight.” Featuring the most exciting research in physical science from associated AIP Publishing Journals, Scilight is published on a weekly basis for a far-reaching scientific audience.

Miller and sosolik work with machinery in lab

Professor Chad Sosolik (right) with student co-author A.J. Miller.
Image Credit: Clemson University

The researchers’ featured study, first published in the Review of Scientific Instruments, delves into the properties of multi-charged ions, which are atoms that have been stripped of two or more electrons. When extracted from an electron beam ion source (EBIS) – a device that produces such ions – the particles showed an offset between their actual and theorized kinetic energy, which was linked to the ionizing electron beam.

According to Marler and graduate student Dhruva Kulkarni, the finding provides a technique for estimating the size of an electron beam in an EBIS, which has applications in mass spectrometers, ion implanters and particle accelerators, like the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland. The research also benefits the processing and fabrication of nanomaterials.

Several student researchers, including both undergraduates and Creative Inquiry students, were co-authors of the study.

Funding for the team’s research was provided by the National Science Foundation (No. NSF-DMR-0960100). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NSF.