Observation and ultrafast dynamics of a nonvalence correlation-bound state of an anion

James N. Bull, Jan R. R. Verlet

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Abstract

Nonvalence states of molecular anions play key roles in processes, such as electron mobility, in rare-gas liquids, radiation-induced damage to DNA, and the formation of anions in the interstellar medium. Recently, a class of nonvalence bound anion state has been predicted by theory in which correlation forces are predominantly responsible for binding the excess electron. We present a direct spectroscopic observation of this nonvalence correlation-bound state (CBS) in the para-toluquinone trimer cluster anion. Time-resolved photoelectron velocity map imaging shows that photodetachment of the CBS produces a narrow and highly anisotropic photoelectron distribution, consistent with detachment from an s-like orbital. The CBS is bound by ~50 meV and decays by vibration-mediated autodetachment with a lifetime of 700 ± 100 fs. These states are likely to be common in large and/or polarizable anions and clusters and may act as doorway states in electron attachment processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1603106
JournalScience Advances
Volume3
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2017

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