We present an investigation into hydrogen bonding dynamics and kinetics in water using femtosecond infrared spectroscopy of the OH stretching vibration of HOD in D2O. Infrared vibrational echo peak shift and polarization-selective pump-probe experiments were performed with mid-IR pulses short enough to capture all relevant dynamical processes. The experiments are self-consistently analyzed with a nonlinear response function expressed in terms of three dynamical parameters for the OH stretching vibration: the frequency correlation function, the lifetime, and the second Legendre polynomial dipole reorientation correlation function. It also accounts for vibrational-relaxation-induced excitation of intermolecular motion that appears as heating. The long time, picosecond behavior is consistent with previous work, but new dynamics are revealed on the sub-200 fs time scale. The frequency correlation function is characterized by a 50 fs decay and 180 fs beat associated with underdamped intermolecular vibrations of hydrogen bonding partners prior to 1.4 ps exponential relaxation. The reorientational correlation function observes a 50 fs librational decay prior to 3 ps diffusive reorientation. Both of these correlation functions compare favorably with the predictions from classical molecular dynamics simulations. The time-dependent behavior can be separated into short and long time scales by the 340 fs correlation time for OH frequency shifts. The fast time scales arise from dynamics that are mainly local: fluctuations in hydrogen bond distances and angles within relatively fixed intermolecular configurations. On time scales longer than the correlation time, dephasing and reorientations reflect collective reorganization of the liquid structure. Since the OH transition frequency and dipole are only weakly sensitive to these collective coordinates, this is a kinetic regime which gives an effective rate for exchange of intermolecular structures.

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