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Title: Sub-Doppler infrared spectroscopy of resonance-stabilized hydrocarbon intermediates: ν 3 / ν 4 CH stretch modes and CH 2 internal rotor dynamics of benzyl radical
Highly reactive benzyl radicals are generated by electron dissociative attachment to benzyl chloride doped into a neon–hydrogen–helium discharge and immediately cooled to T rot = 15 K in a high density, supersonic slit expansion environment. The sub-Doppler spectra are fit to an asymmetric-top rotational Hamiltonian, thereby yielding spectroscopic constants for the ground ( v = 0) and first excited ( v = 1, ν 3 , ν 4 ) vibrational levels of the ground electronic state. The rotational constants obtained for the ground state are in good agreement with previous laser induced fluorescence measurements (LIF), with vibrational band origins ( ν 3 = 3073.2350 ± 0.0006 cm −1 , ν 4 = 3067.0576 ± 0.0006 cm −1 ) in agreement with anharmonically corrected density functional theory calculations. To assist in detection of benzyl radical in the interstellar medium, we have also significantly improved the precision of the ground state rotational constants through combined analysis of the ground state IR and LIF combination differences. Of dynamical interest, there is no evidence in the sub-Doppler spectra for tunneling splittings due to internal rotation of the CH 2 methylene subunit, which implies a significant rotational barrier consistent with partial double bond character in more » the CC bond. This is further confirmed with high level ab initio calculations at the CCSD(T)-f12b/ccpVdZ-f12 level, which predict a zero-point energy corrected barrier to internal rotation of Δ E tun ≈ 11.45 kcal mol −1 or 4005 cm −1 . In summary, the high-resolution infrared spectra are in excellent agreement with simple physical organic chemistry pictures of a strongly resonance-stabilized benzyl radical with a nearly rigid planar structure due to electron delocalization around the aromatic ring. « less
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Award ID(s):
1734006 1665271
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
29812 to 29821
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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