Ultrafast dynamics of surface chemical bond-breaking studied by optical and x-ray lasers
Molecular Physics seminar
Monday 22 April 2013
to 11:00 at
Henrik Öström (FYSIKUM, Stockholms Universitet)
Reactions at surfaces form the basis for industrially important heterogeneous catalysis, but the microscopic processes governing these reactions are difficult to study experimentally. The combination of optical and x-ray laser experiments offer unique possibilities to gain insights in ultrafast dynamical processes at surfaces. I will present how we have studied a simple surface chemical reaction the breaking of a surface chemical bond in the CO/Ru(0001) system (Science 339, 1302 (2013); Phys. Rev. Lett, in press). We have determined both the desorption mechanisms and electronic structure dynamics prior to desorption. The x-ray experiments allow us to follow different dynamical processes as they occur on the surface and how the molecules enter a previously never observed precursor state. The complementary optical laser experiments allow us to correlate these dynamical processes with the desorption reaction.