Chemistry

Oxygen Production From Three-Body Photodissociation of Water Revealed by Dalian Coherent Light Source

Dalian Coherent Light Source Revealing Three Body Photodissociation

Dalian Coherent Light Source revealing three-body photodissociation of water as an important prebiotic-O2 source. Credit: DICP

The provenance of oxygen on Earth and other solar planetary bodies is a fundamental issue. It is widely accepted that the prebiotic pathway of oxygen production in the Earth’s primitive atmosphere was via vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) photodissociation of CO2 and subsequent recombination of two O atoms.

In contrast, the photodissociation of H2O, one of the dominant oxygen carriers, has long been assumed to proceed mainly to produce hydroxyl (OH)- and hydrogen (H)-atom primary products, and its contribution to oxygen production is limited.

Recently, a research group led by Prof. YUAN Kaijun and YANG Xueming from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences revealed oxygen production from the three-body photodissociation of water molecule using the Dalian Coherent Light Source.

Their findings were published in Nature Communications today (April 30, 2021).

The VUV free-electron laser facility at the Dalian Coherent Light Source allows the researchers to quantitatively assess the importance of H2O photochemistry for oxygen production.

“Our experimental results indicated that H2O under VUV excitation can break into three fragments: one O atom and two H atoms, where the O atoms are in the 1D and 3P states. The three-body dissociation process is the dominant channel for H2O photochemistry in the 90-110 nm region,” said Prof. YUAN.

The quantitative determination demonstrated that approximately 20% of the H2O photoexcitation events resulted in O atoms. Considering the water abundance in widely interstellar circumstances such as in interstellar clouds, atmospheres of the solar-family comets, and even in the Earth primitive atmosphere, O production from water photolysis must be an important process. The subsequent recombination of O atoms produced O2, which represented an important prebiotic O2-production pathway.

Reference: “Three body photodissociation of the water molecule and its implications for prebiotic oxygen production” by Yao Chang, Yong Yu, Feng An, Zijie Luo, Donghui Quan, Xia Zhang, Xixi Hu, Qinming Li, Jiayue Yang, Zhichao Chen, Li Che, Weiqing Zhang, Guorong Wu, Daiqian Xie, Michael N. R. Ashfold, Kaijun Yuan and Xueming Yang, 30 April 2021, Nature Communications.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-22824-7

This research was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chemical Dynamics Research Center, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

Share
By
Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics

Recent Posts

NASA Assesses Launch Pad for Damage After Launch of the World’s Most Powerful Rocket

Following the successful Artemis I liftoff of the world’s most powerful rocket from NASA’s Kennedy…

November 29, 2022

History-Making Event: Orion Goes the (Max) Distance – 268,563 Miles From Earth

NASA Artemis I — Flight Day 13: Orion Goes the (Max) Distance Just after 3…

November 29, 2022

Autism Breakthrough: New Treatment Significantly Improves Social Skills and Brain Function

The treatment caused neurological changes, including a decrease in inflammation and an increase in functionality,…

November 29, 2022

Seemingly Impossible: Nanostructure Compresses Light 10,000 Times Thinner Than a Human Hair

This major scientific advance has implications for many fields, including energy-efficient computers and quantum technology.…

November 29, 2022

“Profound Implications” – New Research Details the Microbial Origins of Type 1 Diabetes

A bacterial protein stimulates the reproduction of insulin-producing cells, pointing to a potential treatment. Nearly…

November 29, 2022

Scientists Develop an “Extended Landau Free Energy Model” for Advanced Materials Design

Explainable AI-Based Physical Theory for Advanced Materials Design Scientists develop an “extended Landau free energy…

November 29, 2022