Surface Dynamics on The Femtosecond Time Scale: A Real-Time Study of Desorption

Energy flow between a molecule and a surface is critical in determining the evolution of surface processes such as absorption, desorption, and fragmentation. Energy transfer between an adsorbate and the substrate occurs on a very short time scale, typically in the range of 10-15-10-10 s. Information on these rapid processes has generally been inferred from spectroscopic data. Recently, however, significant progress has been made in probing surface dynamics directly in the time domain. Elegant linear and nonlinear optical techniques have been applied to determine lifetimes and dephasing rates of vibrational excitation in adsorbates.

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