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Hydroxyl super rotors from vacuum ultraviolet photodissociation of water

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Original languageEnglish
Article number1250
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
DateSubmitted - 19 Sep 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Feb 2019
DatePublished (current) - 19 Mar 2019

Abstract

Hydroxyl radicals (OH) play a central role in the interstellar medium. Here, we observe highly rotationally excited OH radicals with energies above the bond dissociation energy, termed OH “super rotors”, from the vacuum ultraviolet photodissociation of water. The most highly excited OH(X) super rotors identified at 115.2 nm photolysis have an internal energy of 4.86 eV. A striking enhancement in the yield of vibrationally-excited OH super rotors is detected when exciting the bending vibration of the water molecule. Theoretical analysis shows that bending excitation enhances the probability of non-adiabatic coupling between the B~ and X~ states of water at collinear O–H–H geometries following fast internal conversion from the initially excited D~ state. The present study illustrates a route to produce extremely rotationally excited OH(X) radicals from vacuum ultraviolet water photolysis, which may be related to the production of the highly rotationally excited OH(X) radicals observed in the interstellar medium.

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