Raman spectroscopy of bromine in the liquid phase and in water illustrates uncommon principles and yields insights regarding hydration. In liquid Br2, resonant excitation over the B(3Π0u+) ← X(1Σg+) valence transition at 532 nm produces a weak resonant Raman (RR) progression accompanied by a five-fold stronger non-resonant (NR) scattering. The latter is assigned to pre-resonance with the C-state, which in turn must be strongly mixed with inter-molecular charge transfer states. Despite the electronic resonance, RR of Br2 in water is quenched. At 532 nm, the homogeneously broadened fundamental is observed, as in the NR case at 785 nm. The implications of the quenching of RR scattering are analyzed in a simple, semi-quantitative model, to conclude that the inertial evolution of the Raman packet in aqueous Br2 occurs along multiple equivalent water–Br2 coordinates. In distinct contrast with hydrophilic hydration in small clusters and hydrophobic hydration in clathrates, it is concluded that the hydration shell of bromine in water consists of dynamically equivalent fluxional water molecules. At 405 nm, the RR progression of Br3 is observed, accompanied by difference transitions between the breathing of the hydration shell and the symmetric stretch of the ion. The RR scattering process in this case can be regarded as the coherent photo-induced electron transfer to the solvent and its radiative back-transfer.

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