The Role of Rydberg-Valence Coupling in the Ultrafast Relaxation Dynamics of Acetone

Markus Koch*, Bernhard Thaler, Pascal Heim, Wolfgang E. Ernst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The electronic structure of excited states of acetone is represented by a Rydberg manifold that is coupled to valence states which provide very fast and efficient relaxation pathways. We observe and characterize the transfer of population from photoexcited Rydberg states (6p, 6d, 7s) to a whole series of lower Rydberg states (3p to 4d) and a simultaneous decay of population from these states. We obtain these results with time-resolved photoelectron-photoion coincidence (PEPICO) detection in combination with the application of Bayesian statistics for data analysis. Despite the expectedly complex relaxation behavior, we find that a simple sequential decay model is able to describe the observed PEPICO transients satisfactorily. We obtain a slower decay (∼320 fs) from photoexcited states compared to a faster decay (∼100 fs) of states that are populated by internal conversion, demonstrating that different relaxation dynamics are active. Within the series of Rydberg states populated by internal conversion, the decay dynamics seem to be similar, and a trend of slower decay from lower states indicates an increasingly higher energy barrier along the decay pathway for lower states. The presented results agree all in all with previous relaxation studies within the Rydberg manifold. The state-resolved observation of transient population ranging from 3p to 4d can serve as reference for time-dependent simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6398-6404
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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