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Laser studies of state selected reaction dynamics, photochemistry and dynamical stereochemistry


Research objectives and content:To study state-to-state photochemical and reaction dynamics at a highly detailed level combining reagent state selectivity,product quantum state specificity and angular resolution of product velocities, 1. Bimolecular reactions: using laser photoinitiated reaction methods and multiphoton ionization + time-of-flight mass spectrometry of products, differential cross sections and rotational alignment of products will be measured. The implementation of a new infra-red laser permits selection of vibrational and rotational states and alignment of the figure axis, of one of the reagents. 2. Photodissociation dynamics of vibrationally state-selected molecules: coupling Rydberg-atom time-of-flight spectroscopy with IR state selectionpermits very accurate determination of hydride bond dissociation energies and an exploration of extended regions of the dissociative potential energy surfaces. Collaboration with theoretical chemists at Bristol will enable a detailed interpretation of the results of the experiments using techniques such as electronic structure calculations and wavepacket or quasi-classical trajectory methods.
Training content (obiective, benefit and expected impact)The candidate will receive an excellent training in the use of state-of-the-art lasers and their application to studies of reaction dynamics and photochemistry, and in modern computational methods. Tremendous insights will be gained into the mechanisms of elementary reactions, and understanding of the macroscopic aspects of more complex chemical systems, e.g. plasmas and the Earth's atmosphere will be extended.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)Direct industrial spin-offs are unlikely but potential benefits include data for modelling of chemical vapour deposition and combustion processes; how reagent state selectivity controls reactivity has long-term chemical significance.

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)


Cantock's Close
BS8 1TS Bristol, Clifton
United Kingdom