Competitive photodissociation channels in jet-cooled HNCO: Thermochemistry and near-threshold predissociation

M. Zyrianov, Th Droz-Georget, A. Sanov, H. Reisler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


The photoinitiated unimolecular decomposition of jet-cooled HNCO has been studied following S1(1A″)←S0(1A′) excitation near the thresholds of the spin-allowed dissociation channels: (1) H (2S)+NCO(X 2∏) and (2) NH(a 1Δ)+CO(X 1+), which are separated by 4470 cm-1. Photofragment yield spectra of NCO(X 2∏) and NH (a 1Δ) were obtained in selected regions in the 260-220 nm photolysis range. The NCO(X 2∏)yield rises abruptly at 38 380 cm-1 and the spectrum exhibits structures as narrow as 0.8 cm-1 near the threshold. The linewidths increase only slowly with photolysis energy. The jet-cooled absorption spectrum near the channel (1) threshold [D0(H+NCO)] was obtained using two-photon excitation via the S1 state, terminating in a fluorescent product. The absorption spectrum is similar to the NCO yield spectrum, and its intensity does not diminish noticeably above D0(H+NCO), indicating that dissociation near threshold is slow. The NCO product near threshold is cold, as is typical of a barrierless reaction. NH (a 1Δ) products appear first at 42 840 cm-1, but their yield is initially very small, as evidenced also by the insignificant decrease in the NCO yield in the threshold region of channel (2). The NH (a 1Δ) yield increases faster at higher photolysis energies and the linewidths increase as well. At the channel (2) threshold, the NH (a 1Δ) product is generated only in the lowest rotational level, J=2, and rotational excitation increases with photolysis energy. We propose that in the range 260-230 nm, HNCO (S1) undergoes radiationless decay terminating in S0/T1 followed by unimolecular reaction. Decompositions via channels (1) and (2) proceed without significant exit channel barriers. At wavelengths shorter than 230 nm, the participation of an additional, direct pathway cannot be ruled out. The jet-cooled photofragment yield spectra allow the determination, with good accuracy, of thermochemical values relevant to HNCO decomposition. The following heats of formation are recommended: ΔHf0(HNCO) = -27.8±0.4 kcal/mol, and ΔHf0(NCO)=30.3±0.4 kcal/mol. These results are in excellent agreement with recent determinations using different experimental techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8111-8116
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number18
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Competitive photodissociation channels in jet-cooled HNCO: Thermochemistry and near-threshold predissociation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this