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Chemical physics is concerned with the application of the concepts and theories of physics to the analysis of chemical systems and their physical behaviour. While also at the interface between physics and chemistry, it is distinct from physical chemistry.
Many photo-induced processes such as photosynthesis occur in organic molecules, but their femtosecond excited-state dynamics are difficult to track. Here, the authors exploit the element and site selectivity of soft X-ray absorption to sensitively follow the ultrafast ππ*/nπ* electronic relaxation of hetero-organic molecules.
The competition between chemical reactions critically affects our natural environment and the synthesis of new materials. Here, the authors present an approach to directly image distinct fingerprints of essential organic reactions and monitor their competition as a function of steric substitution.
As ternary perovskite-type oxides are increasingly used in fuel cells and catalysis, greater understanding of their surface chemical properties is required. Here the authors report a pronounced ordering of hydroxyls on the cleaved (001) surface of Ca3Ru2O7 perovskite induced by O-octahedral rotation and tilt.
The discovery of intermediate high-spin multiexciton states with surprisingly long lifetimes provides new opportunities for engineering singlet fission, which may also provide an intriguing route to quantum information and spintronic applications.
The critical step in water splitting is the formation of a peroxo bond; the mechanism, thought to involve oxyl radical formation, remains elusive. Now, experiments reveal a distinct bond vibration directly connected to an oxyl radical that is simultaneously coupled to both the semiconductor electronic states and the motion of the surrounding water.
A fundamental challenge in systems chemistry is to engineer the emergence of complex behaviour. The collective structures of metal cyanide chains have now been interpreted in the same manner as the myriad of magnetic phases displayed by frustrated spin systems, highlighting a symbiotic approach between systems chemistry and magnetism.
Understanding the minute details of CO2 transport is key to finding new technologies that reduce the hazardous levels of CO2 in our atmosphere. Now, the observation that the transport of CO2 in molten calcium carbonate occurs faster than standard molecular diffusion brings us one step closer.