Probing transient molecular structures in photochemical processes using laser-initiated time-resolved X-ray absorption spectroscopy

X. Chen Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations

Abstract

Molecular structures during chemical processes are crucial for predicting molecular reactivity and reaction mechanisms. Using a laser pulse as an internal clock for starting fundamental chemical processes, molecular structural dynamics can be characterized by coherent vibrational motions and by incoherent transitions between different intermediate states. Recent developments in pulsed X-ray facilities allow structural determination of discrete excited states and reaction intermediates using laser-initiated time-resolved X-ray absorption spectroscopy (LITR-XAS). Moreover, femtosecond X-ray sources have begun making significant contributions in monitoring coherent molecular motions. This review summarizes recent developments in the field, including technical and scientific challenges as well as several examples involving excited state molecular structure and electronic configuration determinations. Future applications of this technique with high time resolution will enable visualization of fundamental chemical events in many systems and further our understanding in photochemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-254
Number of pages34
JournalAnnual Review of Physical Chemistry
Volume56
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Excited state structures
  • Pump-probe technique
  • Ultrafast x-ray studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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