Landmarks on the potential surface

The energy landscape - the potential surface - of acetone molecules has been mapped out using resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (RIXS) data obtained at the Swiss Light Source of the Paul Scherrer Institut in Switzerland, revealing for the first time how the formation of new hydrogen bonds between acetone molecules and chloroform affects molecular structure. “We chose to selectively excite the double bond between the carbon and oxygen atom of acetone into oscillation and analyzed the responses in detail”, explains team member Annette Pietzsch. The high resolution of the data means the researchers could successfully mapping the potential surface along this C=O double bond.