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J Phys Chem A. 2006 Jun 29;110(25):7826-34.

Experimental and theoretical study of the electronic spectrum of the methylene amidogen radical (H2CN): verification of the 2A1 <-- 2B2 assignment.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2685, USA.


A collaborative experimental and theoretical study of the electronic spectrum and excited-state photochemistry of H(2)CN has been carried out. The absorption spectrum, in the range of 287-278 nm, was measured through cavity ring-down spectroscopy. The radical was prepared by 193 nm photolysis of monomeric formaldoxime vapor. Two diffuse features were observed in the 34800-35800 cm(-1) spectral range, along with the A-X (1,0) band of the OH cofragment. The broad features were assigned through high-level ab initio calculations as vibronic transitions to the ground and 2b(1) (umbrella mode) levels of the second excited B (2)A(1) state from the ground X (2)B(2) state of H(2)CN. Rotational constants for the lower and upper levels of these transitions were computed from the expectation values of the moments of inertia tensor, using the appropriate vibrational wave functions. Experimental and simulated rotational profiles of these bands agree extremely well with each other for an assumed type-B electric dipole-allowed (2)A(1) <-- (2)B(2) transition appropriate to this transition. The former assignment to the dipole-forbidden (2)B(1) <-- (2)B(2) transition can be ruled out by these results. A theoretical investigation of the dissociation pathways for electronically excited H(2)CN is also presented. The upper states of the observed bands cannot dissociate directly but rather decay through internal conversion and subsequent dissociation to H + HCN fragments; higher b(1) levels are above the excited-state dissociation limit.

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