Ultrafast decay of superexcited cΣ u-4ngv=0,1 states of O 2 probed with femtosecond photoelectron spectroscopy

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Neutral superexcited states in molecular oxygen converging to the O2+cΣ u-4 ion state are excited and probed with femtosecond time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy to investigate predissociation and autoionization relaxation channels as the superexcited states decay. The cΣ u-44sσ gv=0, cΣ u- 44sσ gv=1, and cΣ u-43dσ gv=1 superexcited states are prepared with pulsed high-harmonic radiation centered at 23.10 eV. A time-delayed 805 nm laser pulse is used to probe the excited molecular states and neutral atomic fragments by ionization; the ejected photoelectrons from these states are spectrally resolved with a velocity map imaging spectrometer. Three excited neutral O atom products are identified in the photoelectron spectrum as 4d 1DJ°3, 4p 1PJ°5 and 3d 1DJ°3 fragments. Additionally, several features in the photoelectron spectrum are assigned to photoionization of the transiently populated superexcited states. Using principles of the ion core dissociation model, the atomic fragments measured are correlated with the molecular superexcited states from which they originate. The 4d 1DJ°3 fragment is observed to be formed on a timescale of 65 ± 5 fs and is likely a photoproduct of the 4sσ g v 1 state. The 4p 1PJ°5 fragment is formed on a timescale of 427 ± 75 fs and correlated with the neutral predissociation of the 4sσ g v 0 state. The timescales represent the sum of predissociation and autoionization decay rates for the respective superexcited state. The production of the 3d 1DJ°3 fragment is not unambiguously resolved in time due to an overlapping decay of a v 1 superexcited state photoelectron signal. The observed 65 fs timescale is in good agreement with previous experiments and theory on the predissociation lifetimes of the v 1 ion state, suggesting that predissociation may dominate the decay dynamics from the v 1 superexcited states. An unidentified molecular state is inferred by the detection of a long-lived depletion signal (reduction in autoionization) associated with the BΣg-2 ion state that persists up to time delays of 105 ps. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

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Journal of Chemical Physics

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