If neutrinos are their own antiparticles the otherwise-forbidden nuclear reaction known as neutrinoless double beta decay can occur. The very long lifetime expected for these exceptional events makes its detection a daunting task. In order to conduct an almost background-free experiment, the NEXT collaboration is investigating novel synthetic molecular sensors that may capture the Ba dication produced in the decay of certain Xe isotopes in a high-pressure gas experiment. The use of such molecular detectors immobilized on surfaces must be explored in the ultra-dry environment of a xenon gas chamber. Here, using a combination of highly sensitive surface science techniques in ultra-high vacuum, we demonstrate the possibility of employing the so-called Fluorescent Bicolor Indicator as the molecular component of the sensor. We unravel the ion capture process for these molecular indicators immobilized on a surface and explain the origin of the emission fluorescence shift associated to the ion trapping.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (all)
- Chemistry (all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)