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Published October 15, 1996 | Published
Journal Article Open

Femtosecond real-time probing of reactions. XXI. Direct observation of transition-state dynamics and structure in charge-transfer reactions


This paper in the series gives our full account of the preliminary results reported in a communication [Cheng, Zhong, and Zewail, J. Chem. Phys. 103, 5153 (1995)] on real‐time femtosecond (fs) studies of the transition state of charge‐transfer (CT)reactions, generally described as harpooning reactions. Here, in a series of experimental studies in a molecular beam, and with the help of molecular dynamics, we elucidate the microscopic elementary dynamics and the structure of the transition states for the isolated, bimolecular reaction of benzenes (electron donor) with iodine (electron acceptor). The transition state is directly reached by fs excitation into the CT state of the complex Bz⋅I_2, and the dynamics is followed by monitoring the product build up or the initial transition‐state decay.

Additional Information

© 1996 American Institute of Physics. Received 23 April 1996; accepted 2 July 1996. This work is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation and the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research. We wish to thank Julius Su for his effort on the ab initio work which resulted in the structure in Fig. 2, Ju Guo for helping with the result on the mesitylene–iodine τ^‡ measurement, and Manish Gupta for helpful suggestions.

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