Ultrafast photodissociation of I3. Coherent photochemistry in solution

Uri Banin*, Sanford Ruhman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

184 Scopus citations


We report a comprehensive study of the UV photolysis of I3 - in ethanol solution, using femtosecond time resolved transient transmission experiments. We interpret our results to indicate that with high probability, photoexcitation leads to direct formation of di-iodide ions within 300 fs, which are vibrating coherently. Through our experiments we have been able to determine that the time scales for vibrational dephasing, vibrational relaxation, and reorientation of the fragment ions are 400 fs, 4 ps, and 5 ps, respectively. Transmission signals at 620 nm and at 880 nm, which are above and below the λmax of the known absorption of I2 -, oscillate at a precisely opposite phase. This and other results presented indicate that through the oscillations we are observing coherent vibration of the I2 - photofragment. UV transient transmission experiments have been conducted in order to characterize the time scales for recombination. Preliminary results show that recombination takes place on several time scales. A fast component is assigned to primary recombination, followed by vibrational relaxation on the ground state of I 3 -. The impulsive nature of the I3 - photoexcitation induces coherent symmetric stretching vibration in the ground state tri-iodide population. Finally, the large number of dynamical variables probed directly allows us to record the chronology of this reaction with unprecedented detail. We directly observe a new and potentially informative dynamical variable for this reaction-the absolute phase of fragment vibrations following the photodissociation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4391-4403
Number of pages13
JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1993


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