Weak-field few-femtosecond VUV photodissociation dynamics of water isotopologues
AbstractWe present a joint experimental and theoretical study of the VUV-induced dynamics of H2O and its deuterated isotopologues in the first excited state (Ã1B1) utilizing a VUV-pump VUV-probe scheme combined with ab initio classical trajectory calculations. 16-fs VUV pulses centered at 161 nm created by fifth-order harmonic generation are employed for single-shot pump-probe measurements. Combined with a precise determination of the VUV pulses' temporal profile, they provide the necessary temporal resolution to elucidate sub-10-fs dissociation dynamics in the 1+1 photon ionization time window. Ionization with a single VUV photon complements established strong-field ionization schemes by disclosing the molecular dynamics under perturbative conditions. Kinetic isotope effects derived from the pump-probe experiment are found to be in agreement with our by ab initio classical trajectory calculations, taking into account photoionization cross sections for the ground and first excited state of the water cation.