Schreck, S.; Wernet, P.: Isotope effects in liquid water probed by transmission mode x-ray absorption spectroscopy at the oxygen K-edge. The Journal of Chemical Physics 145 (2016), p. 104502/1-9
Open Access Version
The effects of isotope substitution in liquid water are probed by x-ray absorption spectroscopy at the O K-edge as measured in transmission mode. Confirming earlier x-ray Raman scattering experiments, the D2O spectrum is found to be blue shifted with respect to H2O, and the D2O spectrum to be less broadened. Following the earlier interpretations of UV and x-ray Raman spectra, the shift is related to the difference in ground-state zero-point energies between D2O and H2O, while the difference in broadening is related to the difference in ground-state vibrational zero-point distributions. We demonstrate that the transmission-mode measurements allow for determining the spectral shapes with unprecedented accuracy. Owing in addition to the increased spectral resolution and signal to noise ratio compared to the earlier measurements, the new data enable the stringent determination of blue shift and broadening in the O K-edge x-ray absorption spectrum of liquid water upon isotope substitution. The results are compared to UV absorption data, and it is discussed to which extent they reflect the differences in zero-point energies and vibrational zero-point distributions in the ground-states of the liquids. The influence of the shape of the final state potential, inclusion of the Franck-Condon structure, and differences between liquid H2O and D2O resulting from different hydrogen-bond environments in the liquids are addressed. The differences between the O K-edge absorption spectra of water from our transmission-mode measurements and from the state-of-the-art x-ray Raman scattering experiments are discussed in addition. The experimentally extracted values of blue shift and broadening are proposed to serve as a test for calculations of ground-state zero point energies and vibrational zero-point distributions in liquid H2O and D2O. This clearly motivates the need for new calculations of the O K-edge x-ray absorption spectrum of liquid water.