Quantum Nuclear Dynamics in Resonant X-ray Scattering of Gas-Phase and Liquid Systems

Sammanfattning: This thesis focuses on the role of the nuclear degrees of freedom in X-ray induced molecular processes. An important part of it is devoted to establishing theoretical principles to model and interpret high-resolution resonant X-ray scattering experiments in gases and liquids. Our investigations address the resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (RIXS) of H2O(g), H2O(l) and CH3OH(g) and Auger emission induced by hard X-rays in CO(g). The simulations for gas-phase systems are based on a multi-mode wave packet formalism and on potential energy surfaces computed with multi-configurational approaches.For liquid systems, we propose a classical/quantum formalism for simulating RIXS based on a combination of ab initio molecular dynamics, density functional theory calculations and quantum nuclear wave packet propagation. The developed model is able to reproduce the experimental observation of shortening of the vibrational progression in H2O(l).We show that electronically-elastic RIXS has an intrinsic capability to map the potential energy surface and to carry out vibrational analysis of the electronic ground state in free molecules as well as liquids. For gas-phase water, we see that the landscape of different core-excited states cause the nuclear wave packet to be localized along specific directions thus allowing to reconstruct one-dimensional potential energy curves. For liquid water, we propose a model for deriving, from experiment, confidence intervals for the molecular potential energy curves along the OH bonds, which are determined by the local arrangement of the hydrogen bond network.We also investigate the role of ultra-fast rotations induced by photoionization by hard X-rays. In this case, the ejection of a fast photoelectron results in an ultra-fast rotational motion of the molecule, which combined with the anisotropy of the Auger process causes the spectral profile to be split due to a dynamical Doppler effect.