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Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2010 Mar 7;12(9):2116-25. doi: 10.1039/b916659a. Epub 2010 Jan 14.

The reactions of SO3 with HO2 radical and H2O...HO2 radical complex. Theoretical study on the atmospheric formation of HSO5 and H2SO4.

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Departament de Química Biològica i Modelització Molecular, IQAC-CSIC, c/Jordi Girona 18, E-08034 Barcelona, Spain.


The influence of a single water molecule on the gas-phase reactivity of the HO(2) radical has been investigated by studying the reactions of SO(3) with the HO(2) radical and with the H(2)O...HO(2) radical complex. The naked reaction leads to the formation of the HSO(5) radical, with a computed binding energy of 13.81 kcal mol(-1). The reaction with the H(2)O...HO(2) radical complex can give two different products, namely (a) HSO(5) + H(2)O, which has a binding energy that is computed to be 4.76 kcal mol(-1) more stable than the SO(3) + H(2)O...HO(2) reactants (Delta(E + ZPE) at 0K) and an estimated branching ratio of about 34% at 298K and (b) sulfuric acid and the hydroperoxyl radical, which is computed to be 10.51 kcal mol(-1) below the energy of the reactants (Delta(E + ZPE) at 0K), with an estimated branching ratio of about 66% at 298K. The fact that one of the products is H(2)SO(4) may have relevance in the chemistry of the atmosphere. Interestingly, the water molecule acts as a catalyst, [as it occurs in (a)] or as a reactant [as it occurs in (b)]. For a sake of completeness we have also calculated the anharmonic vibrational frequencies for HO(2), HSO(5), the HSO(5)...H(2)O hydrogen bonded complex, H(2)SO(4), and two H(2)SO(4)...H(2)O complexes, in order to help with the possible experimental identification of some of these species.

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