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Creators/Authors contains: "Klippenstein, Stephen J."

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 6, 2024
  2. Hydroperoxyalkyl radicals (˙QOOH) are transient intermediates in the atmospheric oxidation of volatile organic compounds and combustion of hydrocarbon fuels in low temperature (<1000 K) environments. The carbon-centered ˙QOOH radicals are a critical juncture in the oxidation mechanism, but have generally eluded direct experimental observation of their structure, stability, and dissociation dynamics. Recently, this laboratory demonstrated that a prototypical ˙QOOH radical [˙CH 2 (CH 3 ) 2 COOH] can be synthesized by an alternative route, stabilized in a pulsed supersonic expansion, and characterized by its infrared (IR) spectroscopic signature and unimolecular dissociation rate to OH radical and cyclic ether products. The present study focuses on a partially deuterated ˙QOOD analog ˙CH 2 (CH 3 ) 2 COOD, generated in the laboratory by H-atom abstraction from partially deuterated tert -butyl hydroperoxide, (CH 3 ) 3 COOD. IR spectral features associated with jet-cooled and isolated ˙QOOD radicals are observed in the vicinity of the transition state (TS) barrier leading to OD radical and cyclic ether products. The overtone OD stretch (2 ν OD ) of ˙QOOD is identified by IR action spectroscopy with UV laser-induced fluorescence detection of OD products. Direct time-domain measurement of the unimolecular dissociation rate for ˙QOOD (2 ν OD ) extends prior rate measurements for ˙QOOH. Partial deuteration results in a small increase in the TS barrier predicted by high level electronic structure calculations due to changes in zero-point energies; the imaginary frequency is unchanged. Comparison of the unimolecular decay rates obtained experimentally with those predicted theoretically for both ˙QOOH and ˙QOOD confirm that unimolecular decay is enhanced by heavy-atom tunneling involving simultaneous O–O bond elongation and C–C–O angle contraction along the reaction pathway. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
    Methacrolein oxide (MACR-oxide) is a four-carbon, resonance-stabilized Criegee intermediate produced from isoprene ozonolysis, yet its reactivity is not well understood. This study identifies the functionalized hydroperoxide species, 1-hydroperoxy-2-methylallyl formate (HPMAF), generated from the reaction of MACR-oxide with formic acid using multiplexed photoionization mass spectrometry (MPIMS, 298 K = 25 °C, 10 torr = 13.3 hPa). Electronic structure calculations indicate the reaction proceeds via an energetically favorable 1,4-addition mechanism. The formation of HPMAF is observed by the rapid appearance of a fragment ion at m/z 99, consistent with the proposed mechanism and characteristic loss of HO2 upon photoionization of functional hydroperoxides. The identification of HPMAF is confirmed by comparison of the appearance energy of the fragment ion with theoretical predictions of its photoionization threshold. The results are compared to analogous studies on the reaction of formic acid with methyl vinyl ketone oxide (MVK-oxide), the other four-carbon Criegee intermediate in isoprene ozonolysis. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    Isoprene is the most abundant non-methane hydrocarbon emitted into the Earth's atmosphere. Ozonolysis is an important atmospheric sink for isoprene, which generates reactive carbonyl oxide species (R 1 R 2 CO + O − ) known as Criegee intermediates. This study focuses on characterizing the catalyzed isomerization and adduct formation pathways for the reaction between formic acid and methyl vinyl ketone oxide (MVK-oxide), a four-carbon unsaturated Criegee intermediate generated from isoprene ozonolysis. syn -MVK-oxide undergoes intramolecular 1,4 H-atom transfer to form a substituted vinyl hydroperoxide intermediate, 2-hydroperoxybuta-1,3-diene (HPBD), which subsequently decomposes to hydroxyl and vinoxylic radical products. Here, we report direct observation of HPBD generated by formic acid catalyzed isomerization of MVK-oxide under thermal conditions (298 K, 10 torr) using multiplexed photoionization mass spectrometry. The acid catalyzed isomerization of MVK-oxide proceeds by a double hydrogen-bonded interaction followed by a concerted H-atom transfer via submerged barriers to produce HPBD and regenerate formic acid. The analogous isomerization pathway catalyzed with deuterated formic acid (D 2 -formic acid) enables migration of a D atom to yield partially deuterated HPBD (DPBD), which is identified by its distinct mass ( m / z 87) and photoionization threshold. In addition, bimolecular reaction of MVK-oxide with D 2 -formic acid forms a functionalized hydroperoxide adduct, which is the dominant product channel, and is compared to a previous bimolecular reaction study with normal formic acid. Complementary high-level theoretical calculations are performed to further investigate the reaction pathways and kinetics. 
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  5. The 193-nm photolysis of CH2CHCN illustrates the capability of chirped-pulse Fourier transform millimeter-wave spectroscopy to characterize transition states. We investigate the HCN, HNC photofragments in highly excited vibrational states using both frequency and intensity information. Measured relative intensities ofJ= 1–0 rotational transition lines yield vibrational-level population distributions (VPD). These VPDs encode the properties of the parent molecule transition state at which the fragment molecule was born. A Poisson distribution formalism, based on the generalized Franck–Condon principle, is proposed as a framework for extracting information about the transition-state structure from the observed VPD. We employ the isotopologue CH2CDCN to disentangle the unimolecular 3-center DCN elimination mechanism from other pathways to HCN. Our experimental results reveal a previously unknown transition state that we tentatively associate with the HCN eliminated via a secondary, bimolecular reaction.

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