Vibrational dynamics of a non-degenerate ultrafast rotor: The (C12,C13)-oxalate ion

Daniel G. Kuroda, Mohannad Abdo, Lev Chuntonov, Amos B. Smith, Robin M. Hochstrasser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Molecular ions undergoing ultrafast conformational changes on the same time scale of water motions are of significant importance in condensed phase dynamics. However, the characterization of systems with fast molecular motions has proven to be both experimentally and theoretically challenging. Here, we report the vibrational dynamics of the non-degenerate (C12,C13)-oxalate anion, an ultrafast rotor, in aqueous solution. The infrared absorption spectrum of the (C12,C13)-oxalate ion in solution reveals two vibrational transitions separated by approximately 40 cm-1 in the 1500-1600 cm-1 region. These two transitions are assigned to vibrational modes mainly localized in each of the carboxylate asymmetric stretch of the ion. Two-dimensional infrared spectra reveal the presence and growth of cross-peaks between these two transitions which are indicative of coupling and population transfer, respectively. A characteristic time of sub-picosecond cross-peaks growth is observed. Ultrafast pump-probe anisotropy studies reveal essentially the same characteristic time for the dipole reorientation. All the experimental data are well modeled in terms of a system undergoing ultrafast population transfer between localized states. Comparison of the experimental observations with simulations reveal a reasonable agreement, although a mechanism including only the fluctuations of the coupling caused by the changes in the dihedral angle of the rotor, is not sufficient to explain the observed ultrafast population transfer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number164514
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - 28 Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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