Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy of Radicals
Radicals occur in many areas of chemistry as they are intermediates in reactions. They arise in combustion processes and several atmospheric phenomena and they have been located in interstellar space. In order to elucidate these areas of chemistry it is important to understand radicals. This is no easy task as these species are short -lived. This work focuses on determining the structure and bonding of these species using experimental measurements. Since it is specifically aimed at gas phase radicals, spectroscopy is the tool of choice for probing the radicals. This work developed a general technique for taking the rotation-vibration spectra of jet-cooled radicals. The work was based in the infrared since the desired structural information can be obtained in this region of the spectrum. The jet-cooling simplifies the enormous task of spectral assignment. A BOMEM FTIR was optically coupled to a supersonic expansion of radicals streaming from a homemade silicon carbide pyrolysis nozzle. This nozzle was heated to wall temperatures of 1500 K. A suitable organic precursor was entrained in an inert carrier gas, usually helium. Conditions were adjusted such that this precursor was nearly completely decomposed to produce high number densities of the radical of choice. The gas flows were adjusted such that the time for recombination and other radical destroying reactions were minimized. The first radical species observed was nitric oxide, NO, made from the pyrolysis of alkyl nitrites. Spectra with rotational temperatures from 20 K to 80 K were observed. This proved the viability of the method. It also demonstrated that fluid dynamics modeling and a separate photoionization mass spectrometry experiment would be invaluable aids in maximizing radical concentrations since the best chance of recording the spectra is when the most radicals are present.
- Pub Date:
- NITRIC OXIDE;
- Chemistry: Physical; Physics: Molecular