Research ArticleChemistry

Binding energy of solvated electrons and retrieval of true UV photoelectron spectra of liquids

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Science Advances  30 Aug 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 8, eaaw6896
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw6896

Abstract

The electronic energy and dynamics of solvated electrons, the simplest yet elusive chemical species, is of interest in chemistry, physics, and biology. Here, we present the electron binding energy distributions of solvated electrons in liquid water, methanol, and ethanol accurately measured using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) photoelectron spectroscopy of liquids with a single-order high harmonic. The distributions are Gaussian in all cases. Using the EUV and UV photoelectron spectra of solvated electrons, we succeeded in retrieving sharp electron kinetic energy distributions from the spectra broadened and energy shifted by inelastic scattering in liquids, overcoming an obstacle in ultrafast UV photoelectron spectroscopy of liquids. The method is demonstrated for the benchmark systems of charge transfer to solvent reaction and ultrafast internal conversion of hydrated electron from the first excited state.

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