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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Sep 2;105(35):12667-72. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0800220105. Epub 2008 Jul 29.

Tracking the energy flow along the reaction path.

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Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Academia Sinica, P.O. Box 23-166, Taipei 10617, Taiwan.


We report a comprehensive study of the quantum-state correlation property of product pairs from reactions of chlorine atoms with both the ground-state and the CH stretch-excited CHD(3). In light of available ab initio theoretical results, this set of experimental data provides a conceptual framework to visualize the energy-flow pattern along the reaction path, to classify the activity of different vibrational modes in a reactive encounter, to gain deeper insight into the concept of vibrational adiabaticity, and to elucidate the intermode coupling in the transition-state region. This exploratory approach not only opens up an avenue to understand polyatomic reaction dynamics, even for motions at the molecular level in the fleeting transition-state region, but it also leads to a generalization of Polanyi's rules to reactions involving a polyatomic molecule.

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