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Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2006 Jan 21;8(3):321-32. Epub 2005 Oct 31.

New insights on reaction dynamics from formaldehyde photodissociation.

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  • 1Cherry L. Emerson Center for Scientific Computation and Department of Chemistry, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


We review the photodissociation dynamics of formaldehyde with an emphasis on recent calculations that make use of a global ab initio-based potential energy surface for the S(0) state. These calculations together with recent experiments reveal striking departures from conventional transition state theory for the formation of the molecular products H(2) + CO. The evidence for this departure is reviewed in detail by examining properties of the new potential surface and results of quasiclassical trajectory dynamics calculations using this surface. We also review very recent work on the dynamics governing the formation of radical products, H + HCO. These products can be formed on the T(1) surface as well as the S(0) one, and we present some results contrasting the dynamics on these two surfaces. This work makes use of a new semi-global ab initio-based T(1) potential energy surface.

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