ANR FULLDIBS project led by R. Georges (IPR)

Infrared signatures of C60 and its derivatives in the gas phase

The recent detection of the neutral form of the fullerene C60 in the interstellar medium has given a tremendous boost to the involvement of fullerenes as potential carriers of the mysterious diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs). In 2015, four near-infrared DIBs were attributed to the C60+ cation, confirming the involvement of fullerenes. This project proposes to produce in the laboratory the spectra of C60 and C70 in the gas phase, in a systematic way, from the mid-infrared to the visible light. The FULLDIBS project uses uniform high-density, low-temperature supersonic flows capable of relaxing the molecules to their fundamental vibrational state. These low-temperature flows will be probed using state-of-the-art ultrasensitive spectroscopic techniques based on high-fine optical cavities. The produced  spectral signatures will be systematically compared to the DIBs of the interstellar medium.