A simple electron time-of-flight spectrometer for ultrafast vacuum ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy of liquid solutions
We present a simple electron time of flight spectrometer for time resolved photoelectron spectroscopy of liquid samples using a vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) source produced by high-harmonic generation. The field free spectrometer coupled with the time-preserving monochromator for the VUV at the Artemis facility of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory achieves an energy resolution of 0.65 eV at 40 eV with a sub 100 fs temporal resolution. A key feature of the design is a differentially pumped drift tube allowing a microliquid jet to be aligned and started at ambient atmosphere while preserving a pressure of 10−1 mbar at the micro channel plate detector. The pumping requirements for photoelectron (PE) spectroscopy in vacuum are presented while the instrument performance is demonstrated with PE spectra of salt solutions in water. The capability of the instrument for time resolved measurements is demonstrated by observing the ultrafast (50 fs) vibrational excitation of water leading to temporary proton transfer.