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Vibrational Spectral Signatures and Ultrafast Dynamics of Strong H-bonds Investigated with Cryogenic Ion and 2D IR Spectroscopies

Photo of guest speaker, Prof. Joseph Fournier, against a background of a colonnaded walkway
Prof. Joseph A. Fournier
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Washington University in St. Louis
iSTEM Building 2, Room 1218
Physical Seminar

H-bonding interactions and proton transfer processes play central roles throughout chemistry and biology. Spectroscopic studies that directly probe strong H-bonds and proton transfer reactions, however, remain a formidable experimental challenge. We aim to characterize vibrational spectral signatures and dynamics of strong H-bonds by complementing high-resolution gas-phase techniques (cryogenic ion spectroscopy) with ultrafast time-resolved solution-phase experiments (transient absorption, 2D IR). First, gas-phase studies on a series of proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) model systems will be presented, which exhibit extremely broad shared H atom stretch transitions. Computational modeling reveals a unique spectral mechanism arising from significant anharmonic coupling of the H atom degrees of freedom to nearly three dozen normal mode coordinates. Next, solution-phase studies investigating the intramolecular H-bond in a series of β-diketones reveal surprisingly long-lived and isotope-dependent orientational dynamics. The orientational dynamics are attributed to activated H atom transfer dynamics driven by internal structural rearrangements. Finally, exciting progress on a novel experimental platform that combines ultrafast IR spectroscopies with cryogenic ion techniques for the acquisition of multidimensional and time-resolved spectra of isolated ion ensembles will be discussed.

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