Dalian coherent light source reveals oxygen production from three-body photodissociation of water


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IMAGE: Dalian Coherent Light Source exposing three-body photodissociation of water as an essential prebiotic-O2 source
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Credit: DICP

The provenance of oxygen on Earth and other solar planetary bodies is an essential problem. It is extensively accepted that the prebiotic path of oxygen production in the Earth primitive environment was through vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) photodissociation of CO2 and subsequent recombination of 2 O atoms.

In contrast, the photodissociation of H2O, one of the dominant oxygen providers, has actually long been presumed to continue generally to produce hydroxyl (OH)- and hydrogen (H)-atom main items, and its contribution to oxygen production is restricted.

Recently, a research study group led by Prof. YUAN Kaijun and YANG Xueming from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences exposed oxygen production from the three-body photodissociation of water particle utilizing the Dalian Coherent Light Source.

Their findings were released in Nature Communications on April 30.

The VUV free-electron laser center at the Dalian Coherent Light Source enables the scientists to quantitatively examine the significance of H2O photochemistry for oxygen production.

“Our experimental results indicated that H2O under VUV excitation can break into three fragments: one O atom and two H atoms, where the O atoms are in the 1D and 3P states. The three-body dissociation process is the dominant channel for H2O photochemistry in the 90-110 nm region,” stated Prof. YUAN.

The quantitative decision showed that roughly 20% of the H2O photoexcitation occasions led to O atoms. Considering the water abundance in extensively interstellar situations such as in interstellar clouds, environments of the solar-family comets, and even in the Earth primitive environment, O production from water photolysis should be an essential procedure. The subsequent recombination of O atoms produced O2, which represented an essential prebiotic O2-production path.

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This research study was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chemical Dynamics Research Center, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

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