The pure rotational spectrum of ZnO in the X1Σ+ and a3Πi states

L. N. Zack, R. L. Pulliam, L. M. Ziurys

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25 Scopus citations


The pure rotational spectrum of ZnO has been measured in its ground X1Σ+ and excited a3Πi states using direct-absorption methods in the frequency range 239-514 GHz. This molecule was synthesized by reacting zinc vapor, generated in a Broida-type oven, with N2O under DC discharge conditions. In the X1Σ+ state, five to eight rotational transitions were recorded for each of the five isotopologues of this species (64ZnO, 66ZnO, 67ZnO, 68ZnO, and 70ZnO) in the ground and several vibrational states (v = 1-4). Transitions for three isotopologues (64ZnO, 66ZnO, and 68ZnO) were measured in the a3Πi state for the v = 0 level, as well as from the v = 1 state of the main isotopologue. All three spin-orbit components were observed in the a3Πi state, each exhibiting splittings due to lambda-doubling. Rotational constants were determined for the X1Σ+ state of zinc oxide. The a3Πi state data were fit with a Hund's case (a) Hamiltonian, and rotational, spin-orbit, spin-spin, and lambda-doubling constants were established. Equilibrium parameters were also determined for both states. The equilibrium bond length determined for ZnO in the X1Σ+ state is 1.7047 Å, and it increases to 1.8436 Å for the a excited state, consistent with a change from a π4 to a π3σ1 configuration. The estimated vibrational constants of ωe ∼ 738 and 562 cm-1 for the ground and a state agreed well with prior theoretical and experimental investigations; however, the estimated dissociation energy of 2.02 eV for the a3Πi state is significantly higher than previous predictions. The lambda-doubling constants suggest a low-lying 3Σ state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-191
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Molecular Spectroscopy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Excited electronic state
  • Rotational spectroscopy
  • Zinc oxide (ZnO)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Spectroscopy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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