Research ArticleChemistry

A deep UV trigger for ground-state ring-opening dynamics of 1,3-cyclohexadiene

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Science Advances  06 Sep 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 9, eaax6625
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax6625


We explore the photo-induced kinetics of 1,3-cyclohexadiene upon excitation at 200 nm to the 3p state by ultrafast time-resolved, gas-phase x-ray scattering using the Linac Coherent Light Source. Analysis of the scattering anisotropy reveals that the excitation leads to the 3px and 3py Rydberg electronic states, which relax to the ground state with a time constant of 208 ± 11 fs. In contrast to the well-studied 266 nm excitation, at 200 nm the majority of the molecules (76 ± 3%) relax to vibrationally hot cyclohexadiene in the ground electronic state. A subsequent reaction on the ground electronic state surface leads from the hot cyclohexadiene to 1,3,5-hexatriene, with rates for the forward and backward reactions of 174 ± 13 and 355 ± 45 ps, respectively. The scattering pattern of the final hexatriene product reveals a thermal distribution of rotamers about the carbon-carbon single bonds.

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