Observation of Femtosecond Molecular Dynamics via Pump-Probe Gas Phase X-ray Scattering

James Budarz, Michael Minitti, Cofer-Shabica Dylan, B. Stankus, Adam Kirrander, Jerome Hastings, Weber Peter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe a gas-phase x-ray scattering experiment capable of capturing molecular motions with atomic spatial resolution and femtosecond time resolution. X-ray free electron lasers can deliver intense x-ray pulses of ultrashort duration, making them suitable to study ultrafast chemical reaction dynamics in an ultraviolet pump, x-ray probe scheme. A cell diffractometer balances sample flow with gas density and laser focusing conditions to provide adequate scattering vector resolution with high signal intensity and near-uniform excitation probability. Images from a pixel-array x-ray detector, spatially and electronically calibrated, allow for detection of scattering intensity changes below 1%. First experiments on the ring-opening reaction of 1,3-cyclohexadiene to form 1, 3, 5-hexatriene show a rapid initial reaction on an 80 fs time scale.
Original languageEnglish
Article number034001
JournalJournal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2016


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