Single-photon ionisation of most atoms and molecules requires short-wavelength radiation, typically in the vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV, λ < 200 nm) or extreme ultraviolet (XUV, λ < 105 nm) region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The first VUV and XUV radiation sources used to study molecular photoabsorption and photoionisation spectra were light sources emitting a broad continuous spectrum, such as high pressure lamps or synchrotrons. Monochromatic VUV and XUV radiation was obtained using diffraction gratings in evacuated monochromators, which resulted in a resolving power ν/Δv of at best 106 (i. e. 0.1 cm-1 at 100 000 cm-1), but more typically in the range 104-105 . The invention of the laser and the development of nonlinear optical frequency-upconversion techniques enabled the development of table-top narrow-bandwidth, coherent VUV and XUV laser sources with which VUV photoabsorption, photoionisation and photoelectron spectra of molecules can be recorded at much higher resolution, the best sources having bandwidths better than 50 MHz. Such laser sources are ideally suited to study the structure and dynamics of electronically excited states of atoms and molecules and molecular photoionisation using photoabsorption, photoionisation and photoelectron spectroscopy. This chapter presents the general principles that are exploited to generate tunable narrow-band laser radiation below 200 nm and describes spectroscopic methods such as photoabsorption spectroscopy, photoionisation spectroscopy and threshold photoelectron spectroscopy that relay on the broad tunability and narrow-bandwidth of VUV radiation sources.
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Vacuum-ultraviolet lasers and spectroscopy
", Proc. SPIE 8678, Short-Wavelength Imaging and Spectroscopy Sources, 867804 (December 11, 2012); doi:10.1117/12.2011196; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.2011196