This paper reports an experimental study of the photolysis of aqueous HOCl using femtosecond pulses at 266 nm. The formation of photoproducts is monitored by transient absorption spectroscopy from 230 to 400 nm. The HOCl molecules dissociate with unity quantum yield to form OH+Cl faster than 1 ps, and as a result of the potential along the HO–Cl reaction coordinate, all excess energy is given to the fragments as translational energy. After dissociation, and solvent cage escape, the majority of the Cl and OH fragments recombine after diffusion on a time scale of 50 ps. The diffusion dynamics is studied using a simple model for diffusive recombination and a more extensive molecular dynamics simulation. A minor fraction of the Cl atoms (∼10%) reacts with HOCl in a diffusion limited reaction to form Cl2+OH.

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