Primary and secondary processes in the 193 nm photodissociation of vinyl chloride

David A. Blank, Weizhong Sun, Arthur G. Suits, Yuan T. Lee, Simon W. North, Gregory E. Hall

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We have investigated the photodissociation of vinyl chloride (H2CCHCl) at 193 nm using the technique of photofragment translational spectroscopy. The experiments were performed at the Chemical Dynamics Beamline at the Advanced Light Source and used vacuum ultraviolet synchrotron radiation for product photoionization. We have observed five primary dissociation channels following an initial π* ← π excitation. The majority of Cl atoms originate from an excited-state dissociation. The remaining dissociation channels are consistent with competition on the ground electronic state following internal conversion from the optically prepared state. These channels include atomic and molecular hydrogen elimination, HCl elimination, and a translationally slow Cl elimination channel. We have also identified and characterized two secondary decomposition channels: (1) the elimination of Cl from chlorovinyl radicals following the primary atomic hydrogen elimination channel, and (2) hydrogen atom elimination from vinyl radicals following the primary atomic Cl elimination. By measuring the truncation in the translational energy distribution for C2H2Cl products from primary atomic hydrogen elimination we deduce a barrier for the reverse reaction of Cl+acetylene of 11±2 kcal/mol. Since Cl is known to add rapidly to acetylene with no activation barrier, we conclude that H loss primarily forms the ClCCH2 isomer, and that the observed 11 kcal/mol barrier pertains to a concerted addition/rearrangement path to form the α-chlorovinyl radical. Finally, we report low-resolution photoionization spectra for the nascent vinyl radical and HCl photoproducts, in which redshifts in the ionization onsets can be related to the internal energy content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5414-5425
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number13
StatePublished - Apr 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


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