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Probing Reaction Dynamics with Rotational Spectroscopy

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Friday, October 30, 2015 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA Auditorium

Speaker Name(s): 

Arthur Suits

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Wayne University
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Phys Chem/Chem Phys Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

We describe development and application of a new instrument combining two powerful techniques: chirped-pulse Fourier-transfo​rm microwave spectroscopy and pulsed uniform supersonic flows. The objective is to join the virtues of microwave spectroscopy: quantitative, near universal detection affording structural information, with Laval flows offering thermalized conditions at low temperature and high density, to study reaction dynamics of polyatomic molecules with unprecedented detail in product characterizatio​n. This combination, which we term "CPUF" (chirped-pulse/​uniform flow), delivers broad-band rotational spectra with MHz resolution and allows monitoring, on the μs timescale, of the appearance of transient reaction products with quantitative determination of product branching, yielding isomer and in some cases vibrational level specificity. We have applied this technique to study multichannel product branching in the reaction of CN radicals with unsaturated hydrocarbons at low temperature as well as a number of photochemical systems. The approach will be described and recent examples of the capabilities of the technique will be presented. If time permits, other new directions in the probe of polyatomic reaction dynamics will be presented.