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Laser-induced Coulomb explosion imaging of \ce{(C6H5Br)2} and \ce{C6H5Br-I2} dimers in helium nanodroplets using the Timepix3

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posted on 2023-01-11, 22:40 authored by Constant Schouder, Adam S. Chatterley, Melby Johny, Flora Hübschmann, Ahmed F. Al-Refaie, Florent Calvo, Jochen Küpper, Henrik Stapelfeldt
We have deduced the structure of the \ce{bromobenzene}--\ce{I2} heterodimer and the \ce{(bromobenzene)2} homodimer inside helium droplets using a combination of laser-induced alignment, Coulomb explosion imaging, and three-dimensional ion imaging. The complexes were fixed in a variety of orientations in the laboratory frame, then in each case multiply ionized by an intense laser pulse. A three dimensional ion imaging detector, including a Timepix3 detector allowed us to measure the correlations between velocity vectors of different fragments and, in conjunction with classical simulations, work backward to the initial structure of the complex prior to explosion. For the heterodimer, we find that the \ce{I2} molecular axis intersects the phenyl ring of the bromobenzene approximately perpendicularly. The homodimer has a stacked parallel structure, with the two bromine atoms pointing in opposite directions. These results illustrate the ability of Coulomb explosion imaging to determine the structure of large complexes, and point the way toward real-time measurements of bimolecular reactions inside helium droplets.



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