OH/OD product state distributions arising from the reaction of gas-phase O(3P) atoms at the surface of the liquid hydrocarbon squalane C 30H62/C30D62 have been measured. The O(3P) atoms were generated by 355 nm laser photolysis of NO 2 at a low pressure above the continually refreshed liquid. It has been shown unambiguously that the hydroxyl radicals detected by laser-induced fluorescence originate from the squalane surface. The gas-phase OH/OD rotational populations are found to be partially sensitive to the liquid temperature, but do not adapt to it completely. In addition, rotational temperatures for OH/OD(v'=1) are consistently colder (by 34±5K) than those for OH/OD(v'=0). This is reminiscent of, but less pronounced than, a similar effect in the well-studied homogeneous gas-phase reaction of O(3P) with smaller hydrocarbons. We conclude that the rotational distributions are composed of two different components. One originates from a direct abstraction mechanism with product characteristics similar to those in the gas phase. The other is a trapping-desorption process yielding a thermal, Boltzmann-like distribution close to the surface temperature. This conclusion is consistent with that reached previously from independent measurements of OH product velocity distributions in complementary molecular-beam scattering experiments. It is further supported by the temporal profiles of OH/OD laser-induced fluorescence signals as a function of distance from the surface observed in the current experiments. The vibrational branching ratios for (v'=1)/(v'=0) for OH and OD have been found to be (0.07±0.02) and (0.30±0.10), respectively. The detection of vibrationally excited hydroxyl radicals suggests that secondary and/or tertiary hydrogen atoms may be accessible to the attacking oxygen atoms.© 2005 American Institute of Physics.