We show that electron and ion spectroscopy reveals the details of the oligomer formation in Ar clusters exposed to an x-ray free electron laser (XFEL) pulse, i.e., chemical dynamics triggered by x rays. With guidance from a dedicated molecular dynamics simulation tool, we find that van der Waals bonding, the oligomer formation mechanism, and charge transfer among the cluster constituents significantly affect ionization dynamics induced by an XFEL pulse of moderate fluence. Our results clearly demonstrate that XFEL pulses can be used not only to "damage and destroy" molecular assemblies but also to modify and transform their molecular structure. The accuracy of the predictions obtained makes it possible to apply the cluster spectroscopy, in connection with the respective simulations, for estimation of the XFEL pulse fluence in the fluence regime below single-atom multiple-photon absorption, which is hardly accessible with other diagnostic tools.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)