X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) deliver short (<100 fs) and intense (similar to 10(12) photons) pulses of hard X-rays, making them excellent sources for time-resolved studies. Here we show that, despite the inherent instabilities of current (SASE based) XFELs, they can be used for measuring high-quality X-ray absorption data and we report femtosecond time-resolved X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) measurements of a spin-crossover system, iron(II) tris(2,2'-bipyridine) in water. The data indicate that the low-spin to high-spin transition can be modeled by single-exponential kinetics convoluted with the overall time resolution. The resulting time constant is similar to 160 fs.
Journal of Physical Chemistry a, 2013, Vol 117, Issue 4, p. 735-740