Tunneling and Tunneling Switching Dynamics in Phenol and Its Isotopomers from High-Resolution FTIR Spectroscopy with Synchrotron Radiation


  • We thank Dr. Axel Keens for helpful discussions and Luca Quaroni for help. Our work is supported financially by the Schweizerischer Nationalfonds, ETH Zürich, and the European Research Council (ERC).


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Tunneling and chemical reactions by tunneling switching are reported for phenol and ortho-deuterophenol on the basis of high-resolution FTIR spectroscopy. Tunneling splittings are measured for the torsional motion in the ground and several vibrationally excited states of phenol. Tunneling times range from 10 ns to 1 ps, depending on excitation. For more-highly excited torsional levels in ortho-deuterophenol, delocalization and chemical reaction by tunneling switching is found.