Vibrational energy relaxation and spectral diffusion in water and deuterated water

John C. Deàk, Stuart T. Rhea, Lawrence K. Iwaki, Dana D. Dlott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the broad water stretching band (2900-3700 cm-1). frequency-dependent vibrational energy relaxation (VER), and spectral diffusion both occur on the time scale of a few picoseconds. Ultrafast IR-Raman spectroscopy of water is used to study both processes. VER is also studied in solutions of HDO in D2O (HDO/D2O). The OH stretch (νOH) lifetime for water and HDO is ∼1 ps. The OD stretch (νOD) lifetime for D2O is ∼2 ps. Stretch decay generates substantial excitation of the bending modes. The lifetimes of bending vibrations (δ) in H2O, HDO, and D2O can be estimated to be in the 0.6 ps ≤ T1 ≤ 1.2 ps range. νOH decay in water produces δH2o with a quantum yield 1.0 ≤ φ ≤ 2.0. In HDO/D2O solutions, νOH(HDO) decay generates νOD(D2O), δHDO, and δ5D2o. The quantum yield for generating νOD(D2O) is φ ≈ 0.1. The quantum yield for generating both δHDO and δD2O is φ ≥ 0.6. Thus, each νOH(HDO) decay generates at minimum 1.2 quanta of bending excitation. After narrow-band pumping, the distribution of excitations within the stretch band of water evolves in time. Pumping on the blue edge instantaneously (within ∼1 ps) generates excitations throughout the band. Pumping on the red edge does not instantaneously generate excitations at the blue edge. Excitations migrate uphill to the blue edge on the 0-2 ps time scale. The fast downhill spectral diffusion is attributed to excitation hopping among water molecules in different structural environments. The slower uphill spectral diffusion is attributed to evolution of the local liquid structure. Shortly after excitations are generated, an overall redshift is observed that is attributed to a dynamic vibrational Stokes shift. This dynamic shift slows down the rate of excitation hopping. Then energy redistribution throughout the band becomes slow enough that the longer VER lifetimes of stretch excitations on the blue edge can lead to a gradual blue shift of population over the next few picoseconds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4866-4875
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number21
StatePublished - Jun 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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