Research at the European XFEL: Femtosecond X-ray experiment research on structural dynamics of water
Water is one of the most important substances on our planet. Its structure, phase behaviours and structural dynamics have become interesting subjects. In this experiment at the Femtosecond X-ray Experiment instrument (FXE) Qingyu Kong from Synchrotron SOLEIL in France probes the structural dynamics of water using femtosecond X-ray solution scattering. The researcher focused on the molecular (H-bond breakage and formation) and global (H-bonded tetrahedral cage) structural dynamics of water after infrared laser excitation at 2000 nm using femtosecond (50 fs) X-ray solution scattering. Structural dynamics of water has been studied by infrared spectroscopy and electron diffraction, however, it has not been studied with femtosecond X-ray scattering in a pump-probe scheme by now. The advantages of the European XFEL, including higher time resolution, high X-ray photon energy, high repetition and the ability of simultaneous probing molecular and bulk structures, will enable him and his team to unravel unknown structural dynamics of water.