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Spatial Isolation of Conformational Isomers of Hydroquinone and Its Water Cluster Using the Stark Deflector

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journal contribution
posted on 16.01.2018, 00:00 by Hyun Sik You, Junggil Kim, Songhee Han, Doo-Sik Ahn, Jean Sun Lim, Sang Kyu Kim
Conformational isomers of hydroquinone and their 1:1 clusters with water have been spatially separated using a Stark deflector in a supersonic jet. trans-Hydroquinone (HyQ) conformer with zero dipole moment is little influenced by inhomogeneous electric fields, whereas cis conformer with nonzero dipole moment (2.38 D) is significantly deflected from the molecular beam axis into the direction along which the strong field gradient is applied. Resonant two photon ionization carried out by shifting the laser position perpendicular to the molecular beam axis after the Stark deflector then gives an exclusive S1–S0 excitation spectrum of the cis conformer only, making possible immaculate conformer-specific spectroscopy and dynamics. As the spatial separation is apparently proportional to the effective dipole moment strength, conformational assignment could be absolute in the Stark deflector, which contrasts with the hole-burning spectroscopic technique where identification of a conformational isomer is intrinsically not unambiguous. trans- and cis-HyQ–H2O clusters have also been spatially separated according to their distinct effective dipole moment strengths to give absolute spectroscopic identification of each cluster isomer, nailing down the otherwise disputable conformational assignment. This is the first report for the spatial separation of conformational cluster isomers.