Lights, camera, diffraction!
The photoinduced ring-opening of 1,3-cyclohexadiene is a prototypical electrocyclic reaction and also provides a model system for understanding photobiological vitamin D generation. Now, Wolf, Wang, Minitti, Martínez and co-workers have used ultrafast electron diffraction to resolve its reaction pathway on the femtosecond timescale and sub-ångström length scale. The cover image is an artist’s visualization of this reaction, showing the photochemical ring-opening of the reactant (top) and the subsequent oscillatory motion between different isomers of the photoproduct 1,3,5-hexatriene.
See Wolf et al