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Journal Article

Observation of an isomerizing double-well quantum system in the condensed phase.

MPS-Authors
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Lau,  J. A.
Department of Dynamics at Surfaces, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Choudhury,  A.
Department of Dynamics at Surfaces, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Chen,  L.
Department of Dynamics at Surfaces, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Schwarzer,  D.
Department of Dynamics at Surfaces, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Wodtke,  A. M.
Department of Dynamics at Surfaces, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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3186626_Suppl.DC1
(Supplementary material), 54KB

Citation

Lau, J. A., Choudhury, A., Chen, L., Schwarzer, D., Verma, V. B., & Wodtke, A. M. (2020). Observation of an isomerizing double-well quantum system in the condensed phase. Science, 367(6474), 175-178. doi:10.1126/science.aaz3407.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-793E-F
Abstract
Molecular isomerization fundamentally involves quantum states bound within a potential energy function with multiple minima. For isolated gas-phase molecules, eigenstates well above the isomerization saddle points have been characterized. However, to observe the quantum nature of isomerization, systems in which transitions between the eigenstates occur-such as condensed-phase systems-must be studied. Efforts to resolve quantum states with spectroscopic tools are typically unsuccessful for such systems. An exception is CO adsorbed on NaCl(100), which is bound with the well-known OC-Na+ structure. We observe an unexpected upside-down isomer (CO-Na+) produced by infrared laser excitation and obtain well-resolved infrared fluorescence spectra from highly energetic vibrational states of both orientational isomers. This distinctive condensed-phase system is ideally suited to spectroscopic investigations of the quantum nature of isomerization.