Rotational effects in complex-forming bimolecular substitution reactions: A quantum-mechanical approach

2009 | journal article. A publication of Göttingen

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​Rotational effects in complex-forming bimolecular substitution reactions: A quantum-mechanical approach​
Hennig, C. & Schmatz, S.​ (2009) 
The Journal of Chemical Physics131(22) art. 224303​.​ DOI: 

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Hennig, Carsten; Schmatz, Stefan
The quantum dynamics of the complex-forming S(N)2 reaction Cl(-)+CH(3)Br -> ClCH(3)+Br(-) is studied with emphasis on rotational effects. The pseudotriatomic system Cl-Me-Br is treated with a corresponding three-dimensional (3D) potential energy surface as a function of the two scattering coordinates and the enclosed angle where the geometry of the methyl group Me is optimized at each point. The 3D space is divided into three different parts, the interaction region, an intermediate region, and the asymptotic region. In line with simple classical-mechanical arguments and previous classical trajectory calculations, initial rotational motion of CH(3)Br seemingly decreases the reaction probability. However, the dynamical inclusion of the rotational degree of freedom and the presence of the many rovibrational product states overall lead to a large increase in reactivity compared to our previous collinear study on this reaction. If the reactant is rotationally excited, the higher vibrational product states are depleted in favor of lower-lying levels. Starting the reaction with rotationless reactants may end up in significant rotational excitation in the product molecules (translation-to-rotation energy transfer). On the other hand, initial rotational energy in rotationally highly excited reactants is to a large amount converted into translational and vibrational energy. The average amount of rotational energy in the products shows a twofold vibrational excitation-independent saturation (i.e., memorylessness), with respect to both initial rotational excitation and translational energy. Since only about one-half of all reactant states end in rotationless products, the reaction probability should be increased by a factor of 2; the actually larger reactivity points to other dynamical effects that play an important role in the reaction.
Issue Date
Amer Inst Physics
The Journal of Chemical Physics 



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