Department of Chemistry, University of Minnesota
When basic chemical events such as charge transfer and bond cleavage take place in solution, the complex participation of the local solvent environment often plays a central role. An accurate description of the fluctuating condensed environment, which is coupled to a given reaction coordinate, not only requires multiple time scales but is continuously changing as progress is made along the reaction coordinate. Reorganization of the solvent environment and progress along a traditional reaction coordinate are not typically separable, and a significant fraction of the dynamics transpires on sub-picosecond time scales. Recent work to measure the changing solvent environment during chemical dynamics in solution will be presented, and potential opportunities to use ultrafast VUV and X-ray pulses to both initiate dynamic events and probe ultrafast evolution of reactants, products, AND the local solvent environment will be considered.