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Covariance-map imaging: a new tool for chemical dynamics studies

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Over the past twenty years or so, velocity-map imaging has revolutionised experimental work in the field of chemical reaction dynamics by allowing the complete scattering distribution for a chosen reaction product to be imaged directly in the gas phase in a single measurement. The technique has provided fascinating and often quantum-state resolved insights into the mechanisms of a wide variety of photochemical and bimolecular reactions.

The development of universal ionization methods and ultrafast time-of-flight imaging sensors has ushered in the era of multi-mass velocity-map imaging, in which multiple reaction products can be imaged in a single experiment. As well as offering a vast reduction in data acquisition time, multi- mass imaging data sets can be analysed using a statistical data processing technique known as covariance analysis or covariance mapping to reveal correlations amongst the reaction products.

This talk will provide an introduction velocity-map imaging and covariance mapping, and will show how these techniques can be used to unravel complex multi-step reaction mechanisms and to provide information on gas-phase molecular structures.

This talk is part of the Physical Chemistry Research Interest Group series.

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