Product-state-resolved dynamics of the elementary reaction of atomic oxygen with molecular hydrogen, O(3P) + D2 → OD(X2Π) + D

Sridhar A Lahankar, Jianming Zhang, Kenneth George McKendrick, Timothy K Minton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Elementary three-atom systems provide stringent tests of the accuracy of ab initio theory. One such important reaction, O((3)P) + H2 ? OH(X(2)?) + H, has eluded detailed experimental study because of its high activation barrier. In this reaction, both the ground-state reactant atom and product diatomic molecule have open-shell character, which introduces the intriguing complication of non-Born-Oppenheimer effects in both the entrance and the exit channels. These effects may be probed experimentally in both the fine-structure and the ?-doublet splittings of the OH product. We have used laser-induced fluorescence to measure OD internal product-state distributions from the analogous reaction of O((3)P) with D2, enabled by a unique high-energy O((3)P) source. We find that the OD (?' = 0) product is rotationally highly excited, in excellent agreement with earlier theoretical predictions. However, the distributions over the OD(X(2)?) fine-structure and ?-doublet states, diagnostic of electronic non-adiabaticity in the reaction, challenge the prevailing theoretical understanding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-319
Number of pages5
JournalNature Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


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