Inelastic scattering of OH from a liquid PFPE surface: Resolution of correlated speed and angular distributions

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Inelastic collisions of OH with an inert liquid perfluoropolyether (PFPE) surface have been studied experimentally. A pulsed molecular beam of OH with a kinetic energy distribution peaking at 35 kJ mol−1 was directed at a continually refreshed PFPE surface. OH molecules were detected state-selectively with spatial and temporal resolution by pulsed, planar laser-induced fluorescence. The scattered speed distributions were confirmed to be strongly superthermal, regardless of the incidence angle (0° or 45°). Angular scattering distributions were measured for the first time; their reliability was confirmed through extensive Monte Carlo simulations of experimental averaging effects, described in Paper II [A. G. Knight et al., J. Chem. Phys. 158, 244705 (2023)]. The distributions depend markedly on the incidence angle and are correlated with scattered OH speed, consistent with predominantly impulsive scattering. For 45° incidence, the angular distributions are distinctly asymmetric to the specular side but peak at sub-specular angles. This, along with the breadth of the distributions, is incompatible with scattering from a surface that is flat on a molecular scale. New molecular dynamics simulations corroborate the roughness of the PFPE surface. A subtle but unexpected systematic dependence of the angular distribution on the OH rotational state was found, which may be dynamical in origin. The OH angular distributions are similar to those for kinematically similar Ne scattering from PFPE and hence not strongly perturbed by OH being a linear rotor. The results here are broadly compatible with prior predictions from independent quasiclassical trajectory simulations of OH scattering from a model-fluorinated self-assembled monolayer surface.
Original languageEnglish
Article number244704
JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2023


  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • General Physics and Astronomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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