We report unambiguous experimental and theoretical evidence of intramolecular photoelectron diffraction in the collective vibrational excitation that accompanies high-energy photoionization of gas-phase CF 4, BF3, and CH4 from the 1s orbital of the central atom. We show that the ratios between vibrationally resolved photoionization cross sections (v-ratios) exhibit pronounced oscillations as a function of photon energy, which is the fingerprint of electron diffraction by the surrounding atomic centers. This interpretation is supported by the excellent agreement between first-principles static-exchange and time-dependent density functional theory calculations and high resolution measurements, as well as by qualitative agreement at high energies with a model in which atomic displacements are treated to first order of perturbation theory. The latter model allows us to rationalize the results for all the v-ratios in terms of a generalized v-ratio, which contains information on the structure of the above three molecules and the corresponding molecular cations. A fit of the measured v-ratios to a simple formula based on this model suggests that the method could be used to obtain structural information of both neutral and ionic molecular species.
|Journal||Journal of Chemical Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2013 Sept 28|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry