Heyne, K; Huse, N; Dreyer, J; Nibbering, ETJ; Elsaesser, T; Mukamel, S
JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS 2004, 121(2), p. 902-913
Ultrafast vibrational dynamics of cyclic hydrogen bonded dimers and the underlying microscopic interactions are studied in temporally and spectrally resolved pump-probe experiments with 100 fs time resolution. Femtosecond excitation of the O-H and/or O-D stretching mode gives rise to pronounced changes of the O-H/O-D stretching absorption displaying both rate-like kinetic and oscillatory components. A lifetime of 200 fs is measured for the v=1 state of the O-H stretching oscillator. The strong oscillatory absorption changes are due to impulsively driven coherent wave packet motions along several low-frequency modes of the dimer between 50 and 170 cm-1. Such wave packets generated via coherent excitation of the high-frequency O-H/O-D stretching oscillators represent a clear manifestation of the anharmonic coupling of low- and high-frequency modes. The underdamped low-frequency motions dephase on a time scale of 1-2 ps. Calculations of the vibrational potential energy surface based on density functional theory give the frequencies, anharmonic couplings, and microscopic elongations of the low-frequency modes, among them intermolecular hydrogen bond vibrations. Oscillations due to the excitonic coupling between the two O-H or O-D stretching oscillators are absent as is independently confirmed by experiments on mixed dimers with uncoupled O-H and O-D stretching oscillators.