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The primary photo-dissociation dynamics of lactic acid: decarboxylation as CO2 and CO2˙

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We study the primary photolysis dynamics of lactic acid induced by excitation at λ = 200 nm with the aim of elucidating how simple aqueous carboxyl acids react to the deep ultraviolet exposure on the prebiotic Earth. UV-IR transient absorption spectroscopy shows a photolysis quantum yield of Φ(100 ps) = 100 ± 5%. The primary products are CO2, CO2˙ and their counter products CH3CHOH˙ and CH3CHOH. DFT calculations suggest that the dissociation takes place from the strongly acidic nπ* excited state. Dehydroxylation of lactic acid is not observed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Pages (from-to)6880-6889
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

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