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Title: High resolution microwave spectroscopic studies of hydrates of carboxylic acids
Author: Ouyang, Bin
ISNI:       0000 0001 3461 2046
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis studies the monohydrate, dihydrate and in some cases, trihydrate of five carboxylic acids, namely acetic acid, propanoic acid, T-difluoroacetic acid, Gdifluoroacetic acid and trifluoacetic acid using the technique of Fourier tranform microwave spectroscopy. The rotational and centrifugal distortion constants of these hydrates were determined with high accuracy. Ab initio calculations were also performed to locate the different conformational minima of the hydrates and to optimize their structures. Comparison of the ab initio predicted rotational and centrifugal distortion constants with the experimentally observed values allows us to determine the structures of the global minimum conformations of the various hydrates without ambiguity. Hydrogen-bonded ring structures are found to be the predominant feature in all observed hydrates. In this structural arrangement, all the hydrogen bonds formed are located in the same ring, and the cooperativity effect between them significantly strengthens each hydrogen bond, as suggested by the sharp increase of their binding energies in the larger hydrates. The fine and hyperfine splittings observed in the specrum were also successfully analyzed, which allows information on the dynamics of the intramolecular large amplitude tunnelling motions to be extracted explicitly. In the final part of this thesis, the equilibrium constants for the formation of monohydrates of the different carboxylic acids involved in this thesis, together with that of formic acid whose microwave spectrum has been analyzed elsewhere, were calculated to approximately derive their abundances under typical atmospheric conditions. It was found that about 2% of FMA, ACA and PPA will complex with one H2O molecule to form monohydrates in the low troposphere, while for TFA, the value increases to about 15%, mainly as a result of the larger binding energy of TFA–(H2O) due to fluorination on the end group.
Supervisor: Howard, Brian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Physical Sciences ; Physical & theoretical chemistry ; Spectroscopy and molecular structure ; high resolution microwave spectroscopy ; hydrate ; carboxylic acid ; ab initio calculation ; structure ; molecular internal dynamics