Rotationally Inelastic Scattering of NO(A2Σ+)+Ar: Differential cross sections and rotational angular momentum polarization

Thomas R Sharples, Thomas Frederick Murray Luxford, David Townsend, Kenneth George McKendrick, Matthew Lawrence Costen

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We present the implementation of a new crossed-molecular beam, velocity-map ion-imaging apparatus, optimized for collisions of electronically excited molecules. We have applied this apparatus to rotational energy transfer in NO(A2Σ+, v = 0, N = 0, j = 0.5) + Ar collisions, at an average energy of 525 cm-1. We report differential cross sections for scattering into NO(A2Σ+, v = 0, N' = 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9), together with quantum scattering calculations of the DCSs and angle dependent rotational alignment. The differential cross sections show dramatic forward scattered peaks, together with oscillatory behavior at larger scattering angles, while the rotational alignment moments are also found to oscillate as a function of scattering angle. In general, the quantum scattering calculations are found to agree well with experiment, reproducing the forward scattering and oscillatory behavior at larger scattering angles. Analysis of the quantum scattering calculations as a function of total rotational angular momentum indicates that the forward scattering peak originates from the attractive minimum in the potential energy surface at the N-end of the NO. Deviations in the quantum scattering predictions from the experimental results, for scattering at angles greater than 10°, are observed to be more significant for scattering to odd final N'. We suggest that this represents inaccuracies in the potential energy surface, and in particular in its representation of the difference between the N- and O-ends of the molecule, as given by the odd-order Legendre moments of the surface.
Original languageEnglish
Article number204301
JournalThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Issue number20
Early online date23 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2015


  • Inelastic scattering
  • Potential Energy Surface
  • Angular momentum polarization
  • Differential cross section
  • crossed molecular beams
  • velocity map ion imaging
  • Energy transfer


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