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Site-selective-induced isomerization of formamide


The new capacity of X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) facilities to produce multi-color X-ray femtosecond pulses paves the way to explore ultrafast phenomena in matter induced by X-ray photons. In the present study, we exploit the site selectivity and the high temporal resolution of a two-color X-ray femtosecond pump-probe sequence to investigate the isomerization of formamide. The pump pulse excites a particular atomic site in the molecule, while the probe pulse captures changes in the chemical environment at a remote atomic site. The response of the system is found to strongly depends on the nature of the excited site, and the core excitation provides a selective control on chemical bond breaking. In particular, we show that the $\mathrm{N1s} \rightarrow \pi^*$ transition favors the isomerization reaction in formamide and demonstrate the possibility to observe in real time the hydrogen migration by measuring the time-dependent chemical shifts with the X-ray probe pulse. This work opens a unique perspective for X-ray-induced photochemistry at XFEL facilities.

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Aug 2019, accepted on 02 Nov 2019 and first published on 04 Nov 2019

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9CP04441H
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2019, Accepted Manuscript

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    Site-selective-induced isomerization of formamide

    S. Oberli, J. Gonzalez-Vazquez, E. Rodriguez-Perello, M. Sodupe, F. Martín and A. Picon Alvarez, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2019, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C9CP04441H

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