Xiaoyan Ding, R. Forbes, M. Kübel, Kevin F. Lee, M. Spanner, A. Yu. Naumov, D. M. Villeneuve, A. Stolow, P. B. Corkum, A. Staudte,
Threshold Photodissociation Dynamics of NO2 Studied by Time-Resolved Cold Target Recoil Ion Momentum Spectroscopy,
The Journal Of Chemical Physics 151, 174301 (2019)
We study the near-threshold photodissociation dynamics of NO2 by a kinematically complete femtosecond pump-probe scheme using a cold target recoil ion momentum spectrometer. We excite NO2 to the optically bright Ã2B2 state with a 400 nm pulse and probe the ensuing dynamics via strong field single and double ionization with a 25 fs, 800 nm pulse. The pump spectrum spans the NO(X2Π) + O(3P) dissociation channel threshold, and therefore, following internal conversion, excited NO2 is energetically prepared both “above threshold” (dissociating) and “below threshold” (nondissociating). Experimentally, we can clearly discriminate a weak two-photon pump channel from the dominant single-photon data. In the single ionization channel, we observe NO+ fragments with nonzero momentum at 200 fs delay and an increasing yield of NO+ fragments with near-zero momentum at 3.0 ps delay. For double ionization events, we observe a time-varying Coulombic kinetic energy release between the NO+ and O+ fragments impulsively created from the evolving “hot” neutral ground state. Supported by classical trajectory calculations, we assign the decreasing Coulombic kinetic energy release at longer time delays to the increasing average NO–O distances in the ground electronic state during its large amplitude phase space evolution toward free products. The time-resolved kinetic energy release in the double ionization channel probes the large amplitude ground state evolution from a strongly coupled “inner region” to a loosely coupled “outer region” where one O atom is on average much further away from the NO. Both the time evolution of the kinetic energy release and the NO+ angular distributions support our assignments.