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Journal Article

Steric effects in the inelastic scattering of NO(X) plus Ar: Side-on orientation.


Walpole,  V.
Department of Dynamics at Surfaces, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Walpole, V., Heid, C. G., Jambrina, P. G., Aoiz, F. J., & Brouard, M. (2019). Steric effects in the inelastic scattering of NO(X) plus Ar: Side-on orientation. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 123(41), 8787-8806. doi:10.1021/acs.jpca.9b07264.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-1A07-7
The rotationally inelastic collisions of NO(X) with Ar, in which the NO bond-axis is oriented side-on (i.e., perpendicular) to the incoming collision partner, are investigated experimentally and theoretically. The NO(X) molecules are selected in the lj = 0.5, Omega = 0.5, e = -1, f > state prior to bond-axis orientation in a static electric field. The scattered NO products are then state selectively detected using velocity-map ion imaging. The experimental bond-axis orientation resolved differential cross sections and integral steric asymmetries are compared with quantum mechanical calculations, and are shown to be in good agreement. The strength of the orientation field is shown to affect the structure observed in the differential cross sections, and to some extent also the steric preference, depending on the ratio of the initial e and f Lambda-doublets in the superposition determined by the orientation field. Classical and quantum calculations are compared and used to rationalize the structures observed in the differential cross sections. It is found that these structures are due to quantum mechanical interference effects, which differ for the two possible orientations of the NO molecule due to the anisotropy of the potential energy surface probed in the side-on orientation. Side-on collisions are shown to maximize and afford a high degree of control over the scattering intensity at small scattering angles (theta < 90 degrees), while end-on collisions are predicted to dominate in the backward scattered region (theta > 90 degrees).