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Physics Department Colloquium
Special Colloquium
Photoinduced reaction mechanisms in molecular systems probed with elemental specificity via ultrafast X-ray spectroscopy
Date: Monday, April 22nd
Time: 3:30 pm
Place: 2103 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Nils Huse, Hamburg University
Abstract: Understanding the interplay of structural, electronic and spin degrees of freedom is paramount for mechanistic insights into how matter transforms upon external stimuli such as light. The elemental specificity of X-ray spectroscopy provides unique complimentary information to vibrational and electronic spectroscopy or non-resonant scattering techniques when studying reaction mechanisms in chemical and materials science. This can be especially useful for metal atoms and their nearest neighbors in transition-metal complexes [1,2] or so-called heteroatoms in functional groups of organic molecules [3,4] where specific atomic sites are of particular importance for the physical and chemical properties of molecular or solid state systems. I will introduce basic concepts of X-ray absorption spectroscopy and RIXS, the X-ray analogue to resonant Raman scattering, as methods to probe electronic structure on ultrafast time scales before presenting two examples of photo-induced reactions to show how X-ray spectroscopy of ligand- and heteroatoms can (i) unravel the role of ligand-field states in transition-metal complexes and (ii) identify transient excited states and new species in sulfur-containing molecules.

[1] B. Van Kuiken et al., J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 7, 465 (2016)
[2] A. A. Cordones et al., Nat. Comm. 9, 1989 (2018)
[3] M. Ochmann et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139, 4789 (2017)
[4] M. Ochmann et al., J. Am. Chem. Soc. 140, 6554 (2018)
Host: Matt Herndon
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