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Watching Vibrational Energy Transfer in Liquids with Atomic Spatial Resolution

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Science  21 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5576, pp. 2201-2203
DOI: 10.1126/science.1071293

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Abstract

Ultrafast spectroscopy was used to study vibrational energy transfer between vibrational reporter groups on different parts of a molecule in a liquid. When OH stretching vibrations of different alcohols were excited by mid-infrared laser pulses, vibrational energy was observed to move through intervening CH2 or CH groups, taking steps up and down in energy, ending up at terminal CH3 groups. For each additional CH2 group in the path between OH and CH3, the time for vibrational energy transfer increased by about 0.4 picosecond.

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