Radiation damage in biological systems by radicals and low-energy electrons formed from water ionization is a consequence of ultrafast processes that follow core-level ionization of hydrated metal ions. More details of the complex pathway are now revealed from the study of aluminium-ion relaxation through sequential electron-transfer-mediated decay.
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This is a summary of: Gopakumar, G. et al. Radiation damage by extensive local water ionization from two-step electron-transfer-mediated decay of solvated ions. Nat. Chem. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41557-023-01302-1 (2023).
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Hot spots of radiation damage from extensive water ionization around metal ions. Nat. Chem. 15, 1338–1339 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41557-023-01332-9