Exotic negative ions

  • VERA’s high abundance sensitivity is exploited to investigate exotics among negative ions. Rare dianions (doubly-charged negative ions) of small molecules like C102− provide insight into the fundamental properties of negative ions and their behavior in excited state following production in a sputter ion source. The smallest dianion-molecule found to date is LiF32−.

  • The existence of the lightest molecular anion imaginable, H2, was also proven at VERA by AMS – despite that it lives only for several microseconds. Apart from the obvious interest from a fundamental research point of view, this molecular anion may have played an important role in the formation of H2 in the early universe – and without H2 none of the larger structures like stars and galaxies would have emerged.