Current techniques based on x-ray or electron diffraction are successfully employed for structure determination in condensed matter but are sometimes limited when applied to low density media such as the gas phase. Here we show that vibrationally resolved photoelectron spectroscopy based on x rays generated by third generation synchrotron light sources can be used to infer the structure of isolated molecules in a simple and efficient way. In particular, we show that vibrational ratios obtained from inner shell C 1s photoelectron spectroscopy of isolated methane molecules exhibit pronounced oscillations that are the fingerprints of electron diffraction by the surrounding atomic centers, thus providing the necessary information for the determination of the molecular geometry.
|Journal||Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2012 Feb 16|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics