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May 2017

Femtosecond X-Ray Spectroscopy


Scientific Achievement

Molecular Foundry staff and users have, for the first time, directly characterized the 200 femtosecond electron movements of a chemical reaction’s transient state.

Significance and Impact

The reaction of cyclic molecules is a ubiquitous chemical process and a key step in the photobiological synthesis of vitamin D in the skin and in optoelectronic technologies underlying optical switching, optical data storage, and photochromic devices.

Research Details


A. R. Attar, A. Bhattacherjee, C. D. Pemmaraju, K. Schnorr, K. D. Closser, D. Prendergast, & S. R. Leone, Science 2017 356, 6333.