New sources of vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) light have unlocked new ways to study molecules. By combining a high harmonic generation source with electron—ion coincidence detection, we have observed new dynamics of highly excited states, which play an important role in astrochemistry and upper atmospheric chemistry. We then used these same tools to study the detection of pyrolysis products. These experiments study the very first intermediates of combustion reactions in a highly simplified environment, in support of models and other experiments concerning combustion processes. By implementing 3 different VUV light sources and 2 ion detection schemes, we have made substantial progress toward identifying bimolecular chemistry, artifacts such as dissociative ionization, and isomers that are generally indistinguishable in a mass spectrum. These improvements, demonstrated on our simplified pyrolysis setup, can also be applied to more complex flame and combustion experiments.
David Couch / Murnane/Kapteyn group
Event Details & Abstracts