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Issue 7, 2015
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Expansion dynamics of supercritical water probed by picosecond time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy

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Abstract

Vibrational excitation of liquid water with femtosecond laser pulses can create extreme states of water. Yet, the dynamics directly after initial sub-picosecond delocalization of molecular vibrations remain largely unclear. We study the ultrafast expansion dynamics of an accordingly prepared supercritical water phase with a picosecond time resolution. Our experimental setup combines vacuum-compatible liquid micro-jet technology and a table top High Harmonic light source driven by a femtosecond laser system. An ultrashort laser pulse centered at a wavelength of 2900 nm excites the OH-stretch vibration of water molecules in the liquid. The deposited energy corresponds to a supercritical phase with a temperature of about 1000 K and a pressure of more than 1 GPa. We use a time-delayed extreme ultraviolet pulse centered at 38.6 eV, and obtained via High Harmonic generation (HHG), to record valence band photoelectron spectra of the expanding water sample. The series of photoelectron spectra is analyzed with noise-corrected target transform fitting (cTTF), a specifically developed multivariate method. Together with a simple fluid dynamics simulation, the following picture emerges: when a supercritical phase of water expands into vacuum, temperature and density of the first few nanometers of the expanding phase drop below the critical values within a few picoseconds. This results in a supersaturated phase, in which condensation seeds form and grow from small clusters to large clusters on a 100 picosecond timescale.

Graphical abstract: Expansion dynamics of supercritical water probed by picosecond time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Nov 2014, accepted on 18 Dec 2014 and first published on 22 Dec 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4CP05171H
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Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015,17, 4926-4936
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    Expansion dynamics of supercritical water probed by picosecond time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy

    T. Gladytz, B. Abel and K. R. Siefermann, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2015, 17, 4926
    DOI: 10.1039/C4CP05171H

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