Research Training Network - FP6

Collective expertize of the network teams

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Participant Number 18: Rennes (Fr)

Expertise in Research and Complementarity

The Rennes team, comprising experimental and theoretical groups, is lead by Prof. I.R. Sims (IRS), in collaboration with Dr B.R. Rowe (BRR) and Dr A. Canosa (AC) on the experimental side, and Prof. J.M. Launay (JML) who directs the theory group. IRS has recently (09/03) moved from The University of Birmingham to take up a chair in Rennes, and has also been able to transfer all of his laboratory equipment. IRS has wide experience in experimental research in gas phase chemical physics (in the UK (Birmingham), the US (Caltech, with A.H. Zewail), Germany (IPC Göttingen, with R. Zellner) and France), and has worked for many years with Professor (now Emeritus) Ian Smith (IWMS). The Rennes team has been active in European collaborative research for many years. In a longstanding collaboration (initially funded by the EC Science Plan) between the Rennes team and the (then) Birmingham group of IWMS and IRS, groundbreaking experiments were performed on the rates of neutral chemical reactions at the temperatures of dense interstellar clouds. This project was awarded one of the first three EU Descartes Prizes in November 2000. IRS was Co-ordinator of the highly successful TMR Network on Astrophysical Chemistry which included the Bordeaux, Meudon, Göttingen, Oxford (then UC London), Rennes, and Perugia teams. A substantial number of joint publications with other Network teams has arisen as a result of the recent TMR Network, and as a result of existing bilateral collaborations.

With the arrival of IRS, the experimental astrochemistry group in Rennes is uniquely able to study a whole range of collisional processes (neutral-neutral and ion molecule reactions, energy transfer and electron-molecule processes), at temperatures down to  10 K using their continuous flow CRESU (Cinétique de Réaction en Ecoulement Supersonique Uniforme, or Reaction Kinetics in Uniform Supersonic Flow)

The theory group of the Rennes team is headed by J.M. Launay. JML has made major contributions in the theory of atom molecule inelastic and reactive scattering, and has developed and published the computer package `MOLCOL' in collaboration with D. Flower (Durham). He is the author of over eighty publications on quantum dynamics in peer reviewed journals or books. B. Bussery-Honvault has expertise in calculations of ab initio potential energy surfaces (PES) with particular emphasis on van der Waals-type interactions, which require highly accurate methods. She also has expertise in the analytical and numerical representation of ab-initio PESs. In close collaboration with the group of R. Moszynski (Warsaw), she has computed several atom molecule and molecule molecule PESs using the `SAPT' code developed at Warsaw. R. Moszynski has already visited the Rennes group three times as an invited Professor in the last three years, and is currently in Rennes on his fourth visit. With the help of the PhD student, to be shared with the Warsaw group, their common expertise in the theoretical modelling of the structure and dynamics of molecular systems will be extended to the determination of the PES for carbon chains interacting with He or H$_2$, and to the rotational excitation of these species by He or H$_2$ which is of astrophysical interest.
Expertise in Training and Knowledge Transfer
The postdoctoral fellow (PDF) is expected to attend (and contribute to) the programme of research seminars organised by the PALMS laboratory. Furthermore, the University of Rennes I and the CNRS provide a structured modular training programme that is planned in very close relation with the staff members. The team belongs to the Doctoral school `Science de la Matiére' which offers advanced level courses and many seminars, in addition to those of the laboratory. The Rennes team, has a large experience in student supervision, either PDFs or PHDs or undergraduate students. Over the past four years, 1 PDF (M), 5 PHDs (3M , 2F of whom 2 have graduated and 3 are current students) and many undergraduate students have been supervised by the different team members. In addition, during the last 4 years at Birmingham, IRS has supervised 7 PhD students and 4 PDFs. Lastly, all team members regularly attend and present work at national and international meetings.

Involvement of Key Scientific Staff.

Name Position M/F Expertise
I.R. Sims Professor M Reaction kinetics, dynamics, energy transfer
J.-M. Launay Professor M quantum dynamics
C. Rebrion Rowe Professor F Chemistry of complex species, PAHs
B.R. Rowe Directeur de Recherche M Low temperature kinetics
B. Mitchell Professor M Dissociative recombination reactions
A. Canosa Chargé de Recherche M Neutral Neutral Reaction kinetics
S.D. Le Picard Maître de Conférence M Neutral Neutral Reaction kinetics
J.L. Le Garrec Maître de Conférence M Reactivity of PAHs
S. Carles Maítre de Conférence F Charged and/or complex species
R. Georges Maître de Conférence M IR Spectroscopy
A. Benidar Maître de Conférence M IR Spectroscopy
B. Bussery-Honvault Chargée de recherche F potential energy surfaces
P. Honvault Maître de conférences M Reactive scattering
F. Thibault Maître de conférences M line broadening/inelastic scattering
K.M. Dunseath Chargé de recherche M quantum collisions
E. Yates PhD student F Low temperature kinetics / energy transfer

Significant References
1. ``experimental and theoretical study of intramultiplet transitions in collisions of C($^3$P) and Si($^3$P) with He". S. D. Le Picard, P. Honvault, B. Bussery-Honvault, A. Canosa, S. Laubé , J.-M. Launay, B. Rowe, D. Chastaing and I. R. Sims, J. Chem. Phys. 117, 10109-10120 (2002).
2. "The Si + O2 reaction: a fast source of SiO at very low temperature; CRESU measurements and interstellar consequences." S.D. Le Picard, A. Canosa, C. Rebrion-Rowe, B.R. Rowe, and G. Pineau des Forêts, A & A, 372[3], 1064 (2001).