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Rotationally Inelastic Scattering of Jet Cooled H2O With Ar: State-to-State Cross Sections and Rotational Alignment Effects



W B. Chapman, A Kulcke, B W. Blackmon, David Nesbitt


State-to-state rotationally inelastic scattering cross sections of H2O with Ar are measured under single-collision conditions in crossed supersonic jets at a collision energy of 480(90) cm-1. The H2( is initially prepared in its lowest ortho (101) and para (000) rotational levels by supersonic cooling in a Ne expansion, and then excited in the intersection region by single collisions with a second pulsed jet of Ar atons. Column-integrated densities of H2O in both initial and final scattering states are monitored via direct absorption of narrow bandwidth (δŅnearly equal to}0.0001 cm-1) infrared light from a continuous wave (cw) f-center laser. Absolute inelastic cross sections for state-to-state collisional energy transfer out of para and ortho initial states are determined from the dependence of infrared absorption signals on collider gas densities. Overall, the results can be approaximately characterized by an exponential decrease in cross section with the magnitude of rotational energy transferred, I.e., as suggested by exponential energy gap models. However, at the state-to-state level, a highly structured, nonmonotonic dependence on energy is observed, which indicates a propensity for rotational excitation around the A (in-plane, perpendicular to C2) and C(out-of-plane) principal axes. This preferential state-to-state scattering dynamics reflects an intramolecular alignment of J in the body-fixed frame and is in good qualitative agreement with theoretical classical trajectory predictions. A rigorous comparison is made via full quantum close-coupling scattering calculations on empirical and ab initio Ar-H2O potential energy surfaces, which successfully reproduce all the state-to-state trends observed, but at the more quantitative level appear to overestimate the intramolecular alignment effects experimentally observed.
Journal of Chemical Physics
No. 17


alignment, cross molecular beams, inelastic rotational energy


Chapman, W. , Kulcke, A. , Blackmon, B. and Nesbitt, D. (1999), Rotationally Inelastic Scattering of Jet Cooled H<sub>2</sub>O With Ar: State-to-State Cross Sections and Rotational Alignment Effects, Journal of Chemical Physics (Accessed May 30, 2024)


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Created April 30, 1999, Updated October 12, 2021