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Title: Novel probes of angular momentum polarization
Author: Chang, Yuan-Pin
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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New dynamical applications of quantum beat spectroscopy (QBS) to molecular dynamics are employed to probe the angular momentum polarization effects in photodissociation and molecular collisions. The magnitude and the dynamical behaviour of angular momentum alignment and orientation, two types of polarization, can be measured via QBS technique on a shot-by-shot basis. The first part of this thesis describes the experimental studies of collisional angular momentum depolarization for the electronically excited state radicals in the presence of the collider partners. Depolarization accompanies both inelastic collisions, giving rise to rotational energy transfer (RET), and elastic collisions. Experimental results also have a fairly good agreement with the results of quasi-classical trajectory scattering calculations. Chapter 1 provides the brief theories about the application of the QBS technique and collisional depolarization. Chapter 2 describes the method and instrumentation employed in the experiments of this work. In Chapter 3, the QBS technique is used to measure the total elastic plus elastic depolarization rate constants under thermal conditions for NO(A,v=0) in the presence of He, Ar, N2, and O2. In the case of NO(A) with Ar, and particularly with He, collisional depolarization is significantly smaller than RET, reflecting the weak long-range forces in these systems. In the case of NO(A)+N2/O2, collisional depolarization and RET are comparable, reflecting the relatively strong long-range forces in these systems. In Chapter 4, the QBS technique is used to measure the elastic and inelastic depolarization and total RET rate constants for OH(A,v=0) under thermal conditions in the presence of He and Ar, as well as the total depolarization rate constants under superthermal conditions. In the case of OH(A)+He, elastic depolarization is sensitive to the N rotational state, and inelastic depolarization is strongly dependent on the collision energy. In the case of OH(A)+Ar, elastic depolarization is insensitive to N, and inelastic depolarization is less sensitive to the collision energy, reflecting that the relatively strong long-range force in OH(A)+Ar system. The second part of this thesis describes the experimental studies of photodissociation under thermal conditions. Chapter 5 provides a brief introduction about several polarization parameter formalisms used for photodissociation, and the incorporation of the QBS technique to measure these polarization parameters. In this thesis, most polarization parameters of the molecular photofragments are measured using the LIF method, and the QBS technique is used as a complementary tool to probe these polarization parameters. In Chapter 6, rotational orientation in the OH(X,v=0) photofragments from H2O2 photodissociation using circularly polarized light at 193 nm is observed. Although H2O2 can be excited to both the A and B electronic states by 193 nm, the observed orientation is only related to the A state dynamics. A proposed mechanism about the coupling between a polarized photon and the H2O2 parent rotation is simulated, and the good agreement between the experimental and simulation results further confirms the validity of this mechanism. In Chapter 7, rotational orientation in the NO(X,v) photofragments from NO2 photodissociation using circularly polarized light at 306 nm (v=0,1,2) and at 355 nm (v=0,1) is observed. Two possible mechanisms, the parent molecular rotation and the coherent effect between multiple electronic states, are discussed. NOCl is photodissociated using circularly polarized light at 306 nm, and NO(X,v) rotational distributions (v=0,1) and rotational orientation (v=0) are measured. For the case of NOCl, the generation of orientation is attributed to the coherent effect.
Supervisor: Brouard, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Physical & theoretical chemistry ; Photochemistry and reaction dynamics ; Laser Spectroscopy ; molecular collisions ; photodissociation ; angular momentum ; quantum beats ; molecular dynamics ; molecule-photon collisions ; radicals ; open shell molecules ; fluorescence ; light polarisation