We study the structural dynamics of photoexcited [Co(terpy)2]2+ in an aqueous solution with ultrafast x-ray diffuse scattering experiments conducted at the Linac Coherent Light Source. Through direct comparisons with density functional theory calculations, our analysis shows that the photoexcitation event leads to elongation of the Co-N bonds, followed by coherent Co-N bond length oscillations arising from the impulsive excitation of a vibrational mode dominated by the symmetrical stretch of all six Co-N bonds. This mode has a period of 0.33 ps and decays on a subpicosecond time scale. We find that the equilibrium bond-elongated structure of the high spin state is established on a single-picosecond time scale and that this state has a lifetime of ∼7 ps.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)