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J Chem Phys. 2011 May 21;134(19):194310. doi: 10.1063/1.3587245.

Nuclear spin dependence of the reaction of H(3)+ with H2. I. Kinetics and modeling.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.

Abstract

The chemical reaction H(3)(+) + H(2) → H(2) + H(3)(+) is the simplest bimolecular reaction involving a polyatomic, yet is complex enough that exact quantum mechanical calculations to adequately model its dynamics are still unfeasible. In particular, the branching fractions for the "identity," "proton hop," and "hydrogen exchange" reaction pathways are unknown, and to date, experimental measurements of this process have been limited. In this work, the nuclear-spin-dependent steady-state kinetics of the H(3)(+) + H(2) reaction is examined in detail, and employed to generate models of the ortho:para ratio of H(3)(+) formed in plasmas of varying ortho:para H(2) ratios. One model is based entirely on nuclear spin statistics, and is appropriate for temperatures high enough to populate a large number of H(3)(+) rotational states. Efforts are made to include the influence of three-body collisions in this model by deriving nuclear spin product branching fractions for the H(5)(+) + H(2) reaction. Another model, based on rate coefficients calculated using a microcanonical statistical approach, is appropriate for lower-temperature plasmas in which energetic considerations begin to compete with the nuclear spin branching fractions. These models serve as a theoretical framework for interpreting the results of laboratory studies on the reaction of H(3)(+) with H(2).

PMID:
21599062
DOI:
10.1063/1.3587245

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