A Caltech Library Service

Femtosecond real-time dynamics of solvation : molecular reactions in clusters and supercritical fluids


Liu, Qianli (1997) Femtosecond real-time dynamics of solvation : molecular reactions in clusters and supercritical fluids. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/adkg-dg69.


This thesis presents two distinct applications of femtosecond laser spectroscopy combined with molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The first application is the study of the dissociation and geminate recombination dynamics of iodine in argon clusters. By using different size distributions of the clusters in a molecular beam, and tuning the central frequencies of the pump and probe beams, the dynamics over a wide range of energies, states and reaction coordinates have been resolved. A microscopic picture of solvation has been established. The MD simulations in this study have covered the femtosecond to picosecond time scales which are essential for characterizing the evolution of solvation and its equilibration in clusters. The second application is the study of vibrational energy and phase relaxation dynamics of iodine in the gas-to-liquid transition region of rare gases (He, Ne, and Ar). The pressure of the system has been continuously varied from 0 to 4000 bar, allowing the relaxation dynamics to be examined across a wide dynamic range. The usual near-linear density dependence has been found for the energy relaxation rate, while a striking non-linear behavior with density has been discovered for the dephasing rate. The MD simulations in this study adopted both a classical model and a semi-classical model, and have reproduced the experimental observations. The novel density dependence of the dephasing rate is attributed to the combined influence of the solute-solvent forces and the vibration-rotation couplings which have opposite trends with density in the intermediate and high density regimes.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Zewail, Ahmed H.
Thesis Committee:
  • Zewail, Ahmed H. (chair)
  • Tombrello, Thomas A.
  • McKoy, Basil Vincent
Defense Date:12 August 1996
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-04072008-091702
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1291
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:08 Apr 2008
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 22:55

Thesis Files

PDF (Liu_q_1997.pdf) - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page