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J Phys Chem Lett. 2017 Apr 6;8(7):1396-1401. doi: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b00312. Epub 2017 Mar 15.

Vibrational Coupling at the Topmost Surface of Water Revealed by Heterodyne-Detected Sum Frequency Generation Spectroscopy.

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Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Saitama University , 255 Shimo-Okubo, Sakura, Saitama 338-8570, Japan.


Unraveling vibrational coupling is the key to consistently interpret vibrational spectra of complex molecular systems. The vibrational spectrum of the water surface heavily suffers from vibrational coupling, which hinders complete understanding of the molecular structure and dynamics of the water surface. Here we apply heterodyne-detected sum frequency generation spectroscopy to the water surface and accomplish the assignment of a weak vibrational band located at the lower energy side of the free OH stretch. We find that this band is due to a combination mode of the hydrogen-bonded OH stretch and a low-frequency intermolecular vibration, and this combination band appears in the surface vibrational spectrum through anharmonic vibrational coupling that takes place exclusively at the topmost surface.

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