UV photodissociation of cyanoacetylene: A combined ion imaging and theoretical investigation

R. Silva, W. K. Gichuhi, V. V. Kislov, A. Landera, A. M. Mebel, A. G. Suits

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The photodissociation of cyanoacetylene, one of the key minor constituents in Titan's atmosphere, was studied in a molecular beam under collisionless conditions using direct current slice ion imaging at 121.6, 193.3, and 243.2 nm. The experimental results were augmented by high-level theoretical calculations of stationary points on the ground-state and second excited singlet potential surfaces, and by statistical calculations of the dissociation rates and product branching on the ground-state surface. Results at 121.6 and 243.2 nm are nearly identical, suggesting that the 243.2 nm photodissociation is the result of a two-photon process. The translational energy distributions show only a modest fraction of the available energy in translation and are consistent with barrierless dissociation from the ground state. The results at 193.3 nm are quite distinct, showing up to half of the available energy in translation, implying dissociation with an exit barrier. The 193 nm result is ascribed to dissociation on the Si potential energy surface. The theoretical calculations show significant rates for H loss on the ground state at 193 nm and significant branching to CN + CCH at 157 nm and higher.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11182-11186
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number42
StatePublished - Oct 22 2009


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