Faculty and Student Publications

Document Type


Publication Date



© 2020 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA. Intermolecular interactions in bulk water are dominated by pairwise and non-pairwise cooperative interactions. While accurate descriptions of the pairwise interactions are available and can be tested by precise low-frequency spectra of the water dimer up to 550 cm−1, the same does not hold for the three-body interactions. Here, we report the first comprehensive spectrum of the water trimer in the frequency region from 70 to 620 cm−1 using helium-nanodroplet isolation and free-electron lasers. By comparison to accompanying high-level quantum calculations, the experimentally observed intermolecular bands can be assigned. The transition frequencies of the degenerate translation, the degenerate in-plane and the non-degenerate out-of-plane libration, as well as additional bands of the out-of-plane librational mode are reported for the first time. These provide a benchmark for state-of-the-art water potentials and dipole-moment surfaces, especially with respect to three-body interactions.

Relational Format

journal article



Included in

Chemistry Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.