State-resolved spectroscopy of high vibrational levels of water up to the dissociative continuum
We summarize here our experimental studies of the high rovibrational energy levels of water. The use of double-resonance vibrational overtone excitation followed by energy-selective photofragmentation and laser-induced fluorescence detection of OH fragments allowed us to measure previously inaccessible rovibrational energies above the seventh OH-stretch overtone. Extension of the experimental approach to triple-resonance excitation provides access to rovibrational levels via transitions with significant transition dipole moments (mainly OH-stretch overtones) up to the dissociation threshold of the O–H bond. A collisionally assisted excitation scheme enables us to probe vibrations that are not readily accessible via pure laser excitation. Observation of the continuous absorption onset yields a precise value for the O–H bond dissociation threshold, 41 145.94 ± 0.15 cm−1. Finally, we detect long-lived resonances as sharp peaks in spectra above the dissociation threshold.