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Laser Method Unveils Ultrafast Photochemical Reactions

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 28, 2006 -- Researchers have made a fundamental advance in understanding how different environments affect chemical reactions by devising a novel way to observe ultrafast photochemical reactions -- reactions induced by a pulse of laser light -- in crystals. The new Massachusetts Institute of Technology experiments show that the reaction dynamics, including whether the product molecules remain or recombine to reform the original compound, depend with exquisite sensitivity on the local "cage" environment formed by neighboring molecules in the crystal. Cage effects of this sort play crucial roles in...Read full article

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