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Observation of Rainbows in the Rotationally Inelastic Scattering of NO with CH4

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7758-7767
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
DatePublished - 23 Aug 2019


Using a combination of velocity-map imaging and resonance-enhanced multi-photon ionization detection with crossed molecular beam scattering, the dynamics of rotational energy transfer have been examined for NO in collisions with CH4 at a mean collision energy of 700 cm-1. The images of NO scattered into individual rotational (j′NO) and spin-orbit (Ω) levels typically exhibit a single broad maximum that gradually shifts from the forward to the backward scattering direction with increasing rotational excitation (i.e. larger ΔjNO). The rotational rainbow angles calculated with a two-dimensional hard ellipse model show reasonable agreement with the observed angles corresponding to the maxima in the differential cross sections extracted from the images for higher ΔjNO transitions, but there are clear discrepancies for lower ΔjNO (in particular, final rotational levels with j′NO =7.5 and 8.5). The sharply forward scattered angular distributions for these lower ΔjNO transitions better agree with the predictions of an L-type rainbow model. The more highly rotationally excited NO appears to coincide with low rotational excitation of the co-product CH4, indicating a degree of rotational product-pair anti-correlation in this bimolecular scattering.



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