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Significant Progress in Water Photochemistry Research


Water molecule is one of the most important molecules in the Universe.  Photochemistry of the water molecule plays a crucial role in atmospheric chemistry, combustion process and interstellar chemistry.  It is a benchmark system for experimental and theoretical studies of unimolecular reactions.  the experimental group led by Dr. Xueming Yang, supported by the National Science Foundation of China, conducted its investigation on the photochemistry of water in the gas phase at the full quantum state resolved level, by using of the high resolution H-atom Rydberg tagging technique, in combination with a tunable vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) light source indigenously developed in Dr. Yang’s laboratory. In collaborations with Prof. Richard Dixon, a fellow of Royal Society in UK, at the University of Bristol, they have made significant progress in the study of water photochemistry in the entire VUV region.  Recently, Xueming Yang, Kaijun Yuan and Richard Dixon were invited to write a comprehensive review on the topic of water photochemistry for the Accounts of Chemical Research.  The review paper has been just published by the Accounts of Chemical Research as a cover article (Acc. Chem. Res. 44, 369(2011).

In the last ten years or so, the group led by Xueming Yang and collaborators have made considerable advances in the study of the photochemistry of water and its isotopologues.  They have published 19 papers all together, including a paper in Science.  These studies have helped us greatly in our understanding of the characteristics of the excited states, and dissociation mechanisms of water.  The results of these works also provide an important knowledge for modeling the role of water molecule in the atmospheric chemistry, as well as in the combustion chemistry and the interstellar chemistry.

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