[en] Kinetic energy release distributions ; Metastable time window ; Maximum entropy method ; Orbiting Transition State Theory (OTST) ; Tropylium+/Benzylium+ ; Toluene ; Reverse electronic activation barrier
[en] Hydrogen loss from the toluene molecular ion generates benzylium (Bz(+)) and tropylium (Tr+) ions via two competitive and independent pathways. The corresponding kinetic energy release distributions (KERDs) have been determined under various conditions in the metastable time window for toluene and perdeuterated toluene and have been analyzed by the maximum entropy method (MEM). The isomeric fraction Tr+/Bz(+) is found to be equal to 0.9 +/- 0.3, in good agreement with the values obtained using photodissociation and charge exchange experiments. It is, however, in disagreement with the value 5 +/- 2 deduced by Moon, Choe, and Kim (J. Phys. Cheln. A 2000, 104, 458) from KERD measurements. The origin of the discrepancy is suggested to be the inadequacy of the orbiting transition state theory (OTST) for the calculation of KERDs in hydrogen loss reactions. For both channels, more translational energy is released in the reaction coordinate than would be expected on statistical grounds because of the presence of a barrier along the reaction path. For the Bz(+) channel, the barrier entirely results from centrifugal effects. Rotational energy is converted into translation as a result of angular momentum conservation. Deuteration is observed to reduce the importance of the rotational energy flow in the reaction coordinate. The Tr+ channel is characterized by the presence of a reverse activation energy barrier of electronic origin. The energy in excess of the dissociation asymptote can be partitioned into two components: the reverse barrier plus a nonfixed energy contribution. About 40% of the reverse barrier is converted into relative translational motion of the fragments. Here again, a lower fraction of the nonfixed energy flows into translation for the deuterated isotopomer.
Laboratoire de Dynamique Moléculaire
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - FNRS, ARC Contract n° 99-04/245