Coherent Oscillatory Femtosecond Dynamics in Multichannel Photodynamics of NO2 Studied by Spatially Masked Electron Imaging

D. Irimia, I.D. Petsalakis, G. Theodorakopoulos, M.H.M. Janssen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The femtosecond multiphoton photoionization and dissociation dynamics of NO2 have been studied in a two-color pump−probe experiment at 400 and 266 nm using velocity map ion imaging in conjunction with photoelectron imaging. We report here a series of experiments focusing on the oscillatory patterns in pump−probe transients of the photoelectron signal. By using the technique of spatially masked imaging detection, we can select different photoelectron channels enabling the rapid measurement of energy selected transients with good signal-to-noise ratio. At short delay times (<300 fs) the dominant process is dissociative multiphoton ionization by 3 × 400 nm + 1 × 266 nm excitation to a repulsive potential energy surface of the NO2+ cation correlating to NO+(1Σ+) + O(3 P) and the ejection of a 0.37 eV electron. At longer delay times (>400 fs), the release of high-energy electrons (0.88 eV) is observed attributed to a three-photon absorption at 400 nm to Rydberg and valence type excited states of neutral NO2 leading to predissociation and the production of NO+ + O(3P) from a one-photon ionization at 266 nm. At longer delay times (>400 fs) a second slow (near 0 eV) photoelectron channel is observed that is associated with one photon excitation at 400 nm to the first excited Ã2B2 state of NO2 followed by two-photon excitation at 266 nm leading to near threshold ionization and dissociation to NO+ + O(3P). Distinctive oscillatory patterns were found in the pump−probe transients of the photoelectron yield for both the slow and the fast photoelectron channels but with different periods of about 750 fs (slow) or 590 fs (fast). Extensive polarization experiments are reported for both linear and circular polarized pump and probe laser geometries. We discuss the oscillatory mechanism in relation to ab initio calculations of relevant Rydberg and valence type excited states of NO2 near 9.3 eV. We propose that an oscillating wavepacket of mixed Rydberg and valence character that predissociates is responsible for the observed oscillations in the transients of the fast (0.88 eV) photoelectron channel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3157-3166
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number9
Early online date23 Nov 2009
Publication statusPublished - 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'Coherent Oscillatory Femtosecond Dynamics in Multichannel Photodynamics of NO2 Studied by Spatially Masked Electron Imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this