A Caltech Library Service

Femtochemistry: Atomic-Scale Dynamics of the Chemical Bond

Zewail, Ahmed H. (2000) Femtochemistry: Atomic-Scale Dynamics of the Chemical Bond. Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 104 (24). pp. 5660-5694. ISSN 1089-5639. doi:10.1021/jp001460h.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


This anthology, which is adapted from the Nobel Lecture, gives an overview of the field of Femtochemistry from a personal perspective, encompassing our research at Caltech and focusing on the evolution of techniques, concepts, and new discoveries. In developing femtochemistry-the study of molecular motions in the ephemeral transition states of physical, chemical, and biological changes-we have harnessed the powerful concept of molecular coherence and developed ultrafast-laser techniques for observing these motions. Femtosecond resolution (1 fs = 10^(-15) s) is the ultimate achievement for studies of the dynamics of the chemical bond at the atomic level. On this time scale, matter wave packets (particle-type) can be created and their coherent evolution as a single-molecule trajectory can be observed. The field began with simple systems of a few atoms and has reached the realm of the very complex in isolated, mesoscopic, and condensed phases and in biological systems such as proteins and DNA. It also offers new possibilities for the control of reactivity and for structural femtochemistry and femtobiology.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Additional Information:© 2000 American Chemical Society. Received: April 18, 2000. Publication Date (Web): May 31, 2000. Over the years, our research group at Caltech has had many outstanding students, postdoctoral fellows, and research associates; the International Roster is given below. Their contributions to the story told here are recognized in an earlier review (see section III) and in the book article published by Les Prix Nobel (ref 27); the figures in this article refer to original publications. I hope that by mentioning their work, they recognize the crucial role they have played in the journey of femtochemistry at Caltech, the “science village” I have enjoyed over the years. There have been a number of friends and colleagues who have supported the field and made the experience enjoyable and humanly worthwhileto them I wish the very best. All are with us today, except one:  Dick Bernstein. Major support of this research came from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Office of Naval Research, and it is a pleasure to acknowledge all of these organizations for making it possible.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)UNSPECIFIED
Office of Naval Research (ONR)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:24
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160819-142155931
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Femtochemistry:  Atomic-Scale Dynamics of the Chemical Bond Ahmed H. Zewail The Journal of Physical Chemistry A 2000 104 (24), 5660-5694 DOI: 10.1021/jp001460h
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:69796
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:22 Aug 2016 22:29
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 04:19

Repository Staff Only: item control page