Laser ablation of in situ metals has recently made it possible to immerse a large number of different metal atoms and ions and small clusters of metal atoms in liquid helium (He) and thus study their absorption and emission spectra in the visible region. Atoms and molecules are readily picked up by large ( ≥ 103 atoms) He droplets, and their spectra are sensitively detected through the use of either beam depletion following absorption or laser-induced fluorescence. Within the past three years, a wide variety of molecules, ranging from OCS to large organic molecules such as amino acids and a number of van der Waals complexes and even large metal clusters, have been embedded in He droplets and studied either in infrared or in the visible region. These results are discussed here in detail, and the evidence for the effect of superfluidity on the spectral features is reviewed.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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