There is a drastic impact of energy on the rates of chemical reactions. Merely heating a gas-phase reaction system leads to indiscriminate deposition of energy in internal and translational motions of intermediate and precursor molecules. Particular stimulations of energy states in the molecules can regulate the trajectories of a reaction - regulation of chemical reactions is an interesting concept.
The empirical basis for attempting such a regulation, ranges from preventing undesirable side products to developing innovative material structures. Owing to the remarkable developments in laser technology, lasers can now offer distinctive modes for selectively initiating chemical reactions by stimulating particular transitions in reactant molecules. For a long time, ultraviolet photochemistry has been adopted to achieve chemical control in molecular reactions, driven by restraining side product channels to acquire the desired deposit. Yet, there have been very few positive outcomes in practical synthesis of materials as the photochemical effects have been considered to be very weak. However, selectivity amid different competing chemical processes for material synthesis is intriguing, as it provides an improved knowledge of the reacting channels, resulting in process regulation and enhancements.
In a recently published article in Light: Science & Applications, scientists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States, have described an innovative laser-enabled synthesis strategy to analyze the benefits of laser photochemistry in the practical synthesis of materials. They have shown that UV laser photolysis of hydrocarbon species modified the flame chemistry to enhance the growth rate of diamond, as well as the film quality. The researchers discovered that the UV laser photolysis has a significant role in preventing the formation of side products - non-diamond carbons. This finding indicates the immense potential of laser photolysis for considerably enhancing the synthesis of a wide array of technically significant materials.