Sub-7-femtosecond conical-intersection dynamics probed at the carbon K-edge.

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From: Science(Vol. 371, Issue 6528)
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Document Type: Article
Length: 4,304 words
Lexile Measure: 1570L

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Abstract :

Conical intersections allow electronically excited molecules to return to their electronic ground state. Here, we observe the fastest electronic relaxation dynamics measured to date by extending attosecond transient-absorption spectroscopy (ATAS) to the carbon K-edge. We selectively launch wave packets in the two lowest electronic states ([D.sub.0] and [D.sub.1]) of [[C.sub.2][H.sub.4].sup.+]. The electronic [D.sub.1][right arrow][D.sub.0] relaxation takes place with a short time constant of 6.8 [+ or -] 0.2 femtoseconds. The electronic-state switching is directly visualized in ATAS owing to a spectral separation of the [D.sub.1] and [D.sub.0] bands caused by electron correlation. Multidimensional structural dynamics of the molecule are simultaneously observed. Our results demonstrate the capability to resolve the fastest electronic and structural dynamics in the broad class of organic molecules. They show that electronic relaxation in the prototypical organic chromophore can take place within less than a single vibrational period.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A652681752