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J Chem Phys. 2014 Jun 7;140(21):214308. doi: 10.1063/1.4878668.

Photolysis of CH₃CHO at 248 nm: evidence of triple fragmentation from primary quantum yield of CH₃ and HCO radicals and H atoms.

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Université Lille Nord de France, PhysicoChimie des Processus de Combustion et de l'Atmosphère - PC2A, UMR 8522, F-59650 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France.


Radical quantum yields have been measured following the 248 nm photolysis of acetaldehyde, CH3CHO. HCO radical and H atom yields have been quantified by time resolved continuous wave Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy in the near infrared following their conversion to HO2 radicals by reaction with O2. The CH3 radical yield has been determined using the same technique following their conversion into CH3O2. Absolute yields have been deduced for HCO radicals and H atoms through fitting of time resolved HO2 profiles, obtained under various O2 concentrations, to a complex model, while the CH3 yield has been determined relative to the CH3 yield from 248 nm photolysis of CH3I. Time resolved HO2 profiles under very low O2 concentrations suggest that another unknown HO2 forming reaction path exists in this reaction system besides the conversion of HCO radicals and H atoms by reaction with O2. HO2 profiles can be well reproduced under a large range of experimental conditions with the following quantum yields: CH3CHO + hν(248nm) → CH3CHO*, CH3CHO* → CH3 + HCO ϕ(1a) = 0.125 ± 0.03, CH3CHO* → CH3 + H + CO ϕ(1e) = 0.205 ± 0.04, CH3CHO*[Formula: see text]CH3CO + HO2 ϕ(1f) = 0.07 ± 0.01. The CH3O2 quantum yield has been determined in separate experiments as ϕ(CH₃) = 0.33 ± 0.03 and is in excellent agreement with the CH3 yields derived from the HO2 measurements considering that the triple fragmentation (R1e) is an important reaction path in the 248 nm photolysis of CH3CHO. From arithmetic considerations taking into account the HO2 and CH3 measurements we deduce a remaining quantum yield for the molecular pathway: CH3CHO* → CH4 + CO ϕ(1b) = 0.6. All experiments can be consistently explained with absence of the formerly considered pathway: CH3CHO* → CH3CO + H ϕ(1c) = 0.


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