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Femtosecond x-ray laser pulses are used to probe the CO oxidation reaction on Ru initiated by an optical laser pulse. On a timescale of a few hundred femtoseconds, the optical laser pulse excites motions of CO and O on the surface allowing the reactants to collide and, with a transient close to a picosecond (ps), new electronic states appear in the O K-edge x-ray absorption spectrum. Density functional theory calculations indicate that these result from changes in the adsorption site and bond-formation between CO and O with a distribution of OC—O bond lengths close to the transition state (TS). After 1 ps 10 % of the CO populate the TS region, which is consistent with predictions based on a quantum oscillator model.

Publication Date



femtosecond, x-ray laser pulses, CO oxidation, Ru, optical lasers


Biological and Chemical Physics | Other Chemistry | Physical Chemistry


This data accompanies the article cited below and includes the following:

Materials and Methods

Figs. S1 to S7

Table S1

Structures and Data

References (3146)

Peer Reviewed



The authors



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