An electronic signature of hydrolysation in the X-ray absorption spectrum of aqueous formaldehyde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Formaldehyde in aqueous solution is hydrolysed and forms methanediol. Using X-ray absorption spectroscopy we show that the hydrolysation product can be identified by a distinct electronic signature in the spectra. This is manifested by the disappearance of the oxygen 1s -> pi* absorption line. The X-ray absorption spectrum of aqueous formaldehyde is compared with those of the structurally similar formamide and urea, which are in contrast not hydrolysed in aqueous solution. We thereby demonstrate the exceptional sensitivity and simplicity of the technique to monitor this fundamental process in the aqueous phase. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Niklas Ottosson
  • Emad F. Aziz
  • Ioana L. Bradeanu
  • Sebastien Legendre
  • Gunnar Öhrwall
  • Svante Svensson
  • Olle Bjoerneholm
  • Wolfgang Eberhardt
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Natural Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)540-542
JournalChemical Physics Letters
Issue number4-6
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch