Dynamics of structural relaxation upon Rydberg excitation of an impurity in an Ar crystal

Sonia Jimenez, Alfredo Pasquarello, Roberto Car, Majed Chergui

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36 Scopus citations


We study the ultrafast dynamics of structural relaxation induced by the Rydberg excitation of an NO molecule in an Ar crystal. We used classical molecular dynamics simulations and normal mode analysis to describe the dynamics of the cage of Ar atoms surrounding the NO molecule. The results show a behaviour characterized by an impulsive expansion of the cage radius at short times (≤ 250 fs), followed by multimodal oscillations over several picoseconds around a radius of ~4 Å. This corresponds to a dilatation of the ground state cage radius of ~9%. The dynamics show a high degree of nuclear vibrational coherence. The relaxation process is described by the damping of mainly five vibrational modes. Their frequencies range from 20 to 75 cm-1 and correspond to resonant modes of the crystal. The associated lifetimes range from 0.5 to 16 ps. The mode of highest frequency being the most anharmonic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-352
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Physics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Aug 1 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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