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J Chem Phys. 2005 Aug 15;123(7):074312.

Quasiclassical trajectory calculations to evaluate a kinematic constraint on internal energy in suprathreshold collision energy abstraction reactions.

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Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, USA.


Experimentally observed product quantum state distributions across a wide range of abstraction reactions at suprathreshold collision energies have shown a strong bias against product internal energy. Only a fraction, sometimes quite a small fraction, of the energetically accessible product quantum states are populated. Picconatto et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 114, 1663 (2001)] noted a simple mathematical relationship between the highest-energy rovibrational states observed and the kinematics of the reaction system. They proposed a reaction model based on reaction kinematics that quantitatively explains this behavior. The model is in excellent agreement with measured quantum state distributions. The assumptions of the model invoke detailed characteristics of reactive trajectories at suprathreshold collision energies. Here we test those assumptions using quasiclassical trajectory calculations for the abstraction reactions H+HCl-->H2+Cl, D+HCl-->HD+Cl, and H+DCl-->HD+Cl. Trajectories were run on a potential-energy surface calculated with a London-Eyring-Polyani-Sato function with a localized 3-center term (LEPS-3C) previously shown to accurately reproduce experimentally observed product state distributions for the H+HCl abstraction reaction. The trajectories sample collision energies near threshold and also substantially above it. Although the trajectories demonstrate some aspects of the model, they show that it is not valid. However, the inadequacy of the proposed model does not invalidate the apparent kinematic basis of the observed energy constraint. The present results show that there must be some other molecular behavior rooted in the reaction kinematics that is the explanation and the source of the constraint.

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