The electronic structure of gas-phase H2O and D2O molecules has been investigated using resonant inelastic soft x-ray scattering (RIXS). We observe spectator shifts for all valence orbitals when exciting into the lowest three absorption resonances. Strong changes of the relative valence orbital emission intensities are found when exciting into the different absorption resonances, which can be related to the angular anisotropy of the RIXS process. Furthermore, excitation into the 4a1 resonance leads to nuclear dynamics on the time scale of the RIXS process; we find evidence for vibrational coupling and molecular dissociation in both, the spectator and the participant emission.

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