The effect of exciting each of the three classes of intermolecular vibrations on the hydrogen bond lifetime (tau(H)) of the isolated water trimer is investigated by far-infrared laser spectroscopy. Single excitation of a librational vibration decreases tau(H) by 3 orders of magnitude to tau(H) = 1-6 ps, comparable to the time scale of a number of important bulk water dynamical relaxation processes. In contrast, excitation of translational or torsional vibrations has no significant effect (tau(H) = 1-2 ns). Although such a dependence of tau(H) on intermolecular motions has also been proposed for liquid water via computer simulations, these are the first experiments that provide a detailed molecular picture of the respective motions without extensive interpretation.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Journal of the American Chemical Society|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2001|