Water molecules in hydrated salts often have a well-defined geometrical arrangement and form an excellent model system for studying the effects of the hydrogen-bond environment on vibrational energy relaxation. Hydrated lithium nitrate contains two distinct types of crystal water molecules. One water molecule makes strong and weak hydrogen bonds; the other water molecule makes two bifurcated hydrogen bonds. We use femtosecond two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy to probe the vibrational relaxation dynamics of the OD stretch vibration of dilute HDO molecules in lithium nitrate trihydrate. In the temperature range from 22 to 295 K we observe a decrease in vibrational lifetime from 3.8 ± 0.2 to 2.8 ± 0.1 ps for the strongly hydrogen-bonded species, from 5.41 ± 0.08 to 4.14 ± 0.05 ps for the bifurcated hydrogen-bonded species, and from 10.4 ± 0.2 to 8.8 ± 0.4 ps for weakly hydrogen-bonded species. This temperature dependence is opposite to that of the OD stretch vibration of dilute HDO:H2O ice, for which the vibrational lifetime increases from 480 ± 40 fs at 25 K to 850 ± 60 fs at 265 K. We discuss the origin of this difference in temperature dependence.

J. Phys. Chem. C
Ultrafast Spectroscopy

Smit, W., & Bakker, H. (2016). Vibrational Energy Relaxation of Water Molecules in a Hydrated Lithium Nitrate Crystal. J. Phys. Chem. C, 120(20), 11078–11084. doi:10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b01128