Ultrafast geminate recombination after photodetachment of aqueous hydroxide

Hristo Iglev, Martin K. Fischer, Alexander Gliserin, Alfred Laubereau

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The photodetachment of aqueous hydroxide (OH-aq and OD-aq) is studied using femtosecond pumpprobe and pump-repump-probe spectroscopy. The electron is detached after excitation of the hydroxide ion to a charge-transfer-to-solvent (CTTS) state at 202 nm. An early intermediate is observed that builds up within 160 fs and is assigned to nonequilibrated OH-electron pairs. The subsequent dynamics are governed by thermalization, partial recombination, and dissociation of the pairs, yielding the final hydrated electrons and hydroxyl radicals. An additional pulse at 810 nm is used for secondary excitation of the intermediate species so that more insight is gained into the recombination process(es). Using this technique we observe a novel geminate recombination channel of OH with adjacent hydrated electrons. This channel leads to ultrafast quenching (700 fs) of almost half the initial number of radicals. The fast mechanism displays an isotope effect of 1.4 (for OD- aq quantum yield 35%, time constant 1.0 ps). This process was not observed in similar experiments on aqueous bromide and seems to be related to the special properties of the hydroxide ion and its local H-bonding environment. Our findings underline the high reactivity of the prehydrated electron.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)790-795
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Feb 2011


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