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Product-state-resolved dynamics of the elementary reaction of atomic oxygen with molecular hydrogen, O(3P) + D2 → OD(X2Π) + D

Nature Chemistry volume 5, pages 315319 (2013) | Download Citation

Abstract

Elementary three-atom systems provide stringent tests of the accuracy of ab initio theory. One such important reaction, O(3P) + H2 → OH(X2Π) + H, has eluded detailed experimental study because of its high activation barrier. In this reaction, both the ground-state reactant atom and product diatomic molecule have open-shell character, which introduces the intriguing complication of non-Born–Oppenheimer effects in both the entrance and the exit channels. These effects may be probed experimentally in both the fine-structure and the Λ-doublet splittings of the OH product. We have used laser-induced fluorescence to measure OD internal product-state distributions from the analogous reaction of O(3P) with D2, enabled by a unique high-energy O(3P) source. We find that the OD (ν′ = 0) product is rotationally highly excited, in excellent agreement with earlier theoretical predictions. However, the distributions over the OD(X2Π) fine-structure and Λ-doublet states, diagnostic of electronic non-adiabaticity in the reaction, challenge the prevailing theoretical understanding.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA9550-10-1-0563). K.G.M. is grateful for a Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship under which this work was initiated. We thank G. Schatz, M. Costen and A. Orr-Ewing for invaluable discussions and advice. The data described in this work can be obtained from the corresponding authors on request.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana 59717, USA

    • Sridhar A. Lahankar
    • , Jianming Zhang
    •  & Timothy K. Minton
  2. School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK

    • Kenneth G. McKendrick

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Contributions

T.K.M. and J.Z. conceived and designed the experiments. J.Z., S.L. and K.G.M. performed the experiments and analysed the data. S.L., J.Z., K.G.M. and T.K.M. contributed to the analysis methods, discussed the results and commented on the manuscript. K.G.M. and T.K.M. co-wrote the paper.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Kenneth G. McKendrick or Timothy K. Minton.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nchem.1588

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