A Study of NbMo and NbMo-by Anion Photoelectron Spectroscopy

Melissa A. Baudhuin, Praveenkumar Boopalachandran, Srijay Rajan, Doreen Geller Leopold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Photoelectron spectra of the niobium-molybdenum diatomic anion, obtained at 488 and 514 nm, display vibrationally resolved transitions from the ground state and one excited electronic state of the anion to the ground state and one excited electronic state of the neutral molecule. The electron affinity of NbMo is measured to be 1.130 ± 0.005 eV. Its2Δ3/2spin-orbit component is observed to lie 870 ± 20 cm-1above its previously identified2Δ5/2ground state. For93Nb98Mo, vibrational energies measured for levels up tov= 4 for the2Δ5/2and2Δ3/2states give harmonic frequency and anharmonicity constant values of ωe= 492 ± 12 cm-1and ωexe= 8.0 ± 3.2 cm-1, the former value corresponding to a force constant of 6.80 ± 0.35 mdyn/Å. These two vibrational parameters suggest a bond dissociation energy that is too low by at least a factor of 3, indicating that the ground state potential energy curve of NbMo deviates markedly from a Morse potential at higher energies. An excited electronic state of NbMo, assigned as a2Σ+state, is observed at 2900 ± 25 cm-1(T0). Vibrational energies up tov= 8 in this excited state give values of ωe= 544 ± 8 cm-1and ωexe= 1.9 ± 1.2 cm-1for93Nb98Mo. The former value corresponds to a high vibrational force constant of 8.30 ± 0.25 mdyn/Å. Both doublet states of the neutral molecule are accessed from the anion ground state, which is assigned as1Σ+. For the93Nb98Mo-anion, the fundamental vibrational frequency (ΔG1/2) is 484 ± 15 cm-1. Electron affinity data indicate that the bond dissociation energy of NbMo-is 0.213 ± 0.005 eV greater than that of neutral NbMo, whose previously reported value then givesD0= 4.85 ± 0.27 eV for the anion. An excited state of the anion lying 3050 ± 25 cm-1(T0) above its ground state is assigned as3Δ, and the energies of its spin-orbit components above the3Δ3lowest energy level are measured to be 450 ± 20 cm-1(3Δ2) and 1100 ± 20 cm-1(3Δ1). Their uneven spacing suggests that the energy of the3Δ2level is lowered by interaction with a higher energy Ω = 2 anion state. The vibrational frequency (ΔG1/2) for the3Δ1and3Δ2states is measured to be 433 ± 20 cm-1. Bond length differences among the observed states are estimated from Franck-Condon fits to vibrational band intensity profiles. When combined with the previously reported NbMo bond length, these provide bond length estimates for the ground state of the anion (1.940 ± 0.025 Å) and for the observed excited states. These species offer extreme examples of multiple metal-metal bonding, with formal bond orders of 51/2for the2Δ ground and2Σ+excited doublet states of NbMo, 6 for the singlet ground state of the anion, and 5 for its low-lying triplet state. The relationships among their bonding properties and those of related multiply bonded transition metal dimers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9658-9679
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number44
StatePublished - Nov 11 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the National Science Foundation for support of this research under Grant No. CHE-1012440. We also thank Professor Michael Morse for helpful advice.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society


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