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Home > Research Teams > Molecular systems, Astrophysics and Environment > Research > Theme 2: Relaxation dynamics of excited molecules > Photodynamics in the VUV range of molecules of astrophysical relevance

Photodynamics in the VUV range of molecules of astrophysical relevance

The relaxation of highly-excited electronic states of small molecules is experimentally addressed with a peculiar interest for the dissociation processes consecutive to a VUV photon excitation. Indeed, this process plays a crucial role in various astrophysical environments (planetary atmospheres, comets, circumstellar envelopes of red giant stars,…) where it produces very reactive radical species further involved in complex reaction networks at work in the carbon or nitrogen chemistry of these media. The group has developed different detection schemes to get information on the nature of the photodissociation products as well as on their state of internal energy. An important effort is performed to measure absolute photodissociation branching ratios in order to improve the photochemical modelling of these astrophysical media. An interesting by-product of this work is the measurement of absolute photoionization cross sections of small radicals, requested data when applying mass spectrometry detection techniques.