Vector and scalar correlations in statistical dissociation: The photodissociation of NCCN at 193 nm Academic Article uri icon


  • Nascent Doppler profiles of CN (X 2Σ+) fragments from the 193 nm photodissociation of NCCN have been measured using high-resolution transient frequency modulated (FM) absorption spectroscopy. This new method is highly suited for Doppler spectroscopy of nascent photoproducts. The experimental line shapes suggest an asymptotic available energy of 5300±100 cm-1 and are well described by a model in which the available energy is partitioned between a statistical reservoir (4700 cm-1) and a modest exit barrier (600 cm-1). We have determined state dependent v-j correlations. A trend of j becoming increasingly perpendicular to v for the higher rotational states is in accord with phase space theory, although the observed correlations are more than twice as strong. The v·j correlations can be quantitatively modeled by further restricting the phase space model with an approximate conservation of the K-quantum number, the projection of total angular momentum about the linear axis of NCCN. Global rotational and vibrational product distributions have also been measured. The highest accessible rotational states are underpopulated, compared to a phase space calculation. The global vibrational distribution is substantially colder than the phase space theory predictions. Vibrational branching ratios for coincident fragments have been measured as a function of the detected CN state from a close analysis of high signal-to-noise Doppler profiles. The correlated vibrational distribution, P(v1,v2), shows an excess of vibrationless coincident fragments, at the expense of dissociation to give one ground state and one vibrationally excited CN fragment. The correlated formation of two vibrationally excited CN fragments is as likely as the phase space prediction, yet the formation of v=2 is strongly suppressed. The fragment vector and scalar correlations provide a highly detailed view of the loose transition state typical for reactions well described by statistical reaction theories. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.

author list (cited authors)

  • North, S. W., & Hall, G. E.

citation count

  • 30

publication date

  • January 1997