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Title: Generation and characterization of ultrathin free-flowing liquid sheets

The physics and chemistry of liquid solutions play a central role in science, and our understanding of life on Earth. Unfortunately, key tools for interrogating aqueous systems, such as infrared and soft X-ray spectroscopy, cannot readily be applied because of strong absorption in water. Here we use gas-dynamic forces to generate free-flowing, sub-micron, liquid sheets which are two orders of magnitude thinner than anything previously reported. Optical, infrared, and X-ray spectroscopies are used to characterize the sheets, which are found to be tunable in thickness from over 1 μm down to less than 20 nm, which corresponds to fewer than 100 water molecules thick. At this thickness, aqueous sheets can readily transmit photons across the spectrum, leading to potentially transformative applications in infrared, X-ray, electron spectroscopies and beyond. Lastly, the ultrathin sheets are stable for days in vacuum, and we demonstrate their use at free-electron laser and synchrotron light sources.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ;  [1] ;  [4] ;  [1] ;  [5] ;  [6] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
  2. Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague (Czech Republic). ELI Beamlines Inst. of Physics; Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (United States). Thayer School of Engineering
  3. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  4. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Advanced Light Source (ALS)
  5. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States); European X-ray Free-Electron Laser (XFEL), Schenefeld (Germany)
  6. Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Hamburg (Germany)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515; AC02-05CH11231; GM110501; GM126289
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); National Institutes of Health (NIH); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
OSTI Identifier:
1434920