The ultrafast dynamics of isolated 9-fluorenone was studied by femtosecond time-resolved photoionization and photoelectron spectroscopy. The molecule was excited around 264-266 nm into the S(6) state. The experimental results indicate that the excitation is followed by a multistep deactivation. A time constant of 50 fs or less corresponds to a fast redistribution of energy within the initially excited manifold of states, i.e., a motion away from the Franck-Condon region. Internal conversion to the S(1) state then proceeds within 0.4 ps. The S(1) state is long-lived, and only a lower bound of 20 ps can be derived. In addition, we computed excited state energies and oscillator strengths by TD-DFT theory, supporting the interpretation of the experimental data.
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