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Title: High resolution diode laser spectroscopy of transient species
Author: Crow, Martin Brian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 9065
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis presents applications of near infrared diode lasers to high resolution spectroscopy of transient radical species. Firstly, time resolved near infrared laser gain versus absorption is utilised in Chapter 2 to determine the I∗ quantum yield following ultraviolet photolysis of iodobenzene and its fluorinated analogues. The experimental method is first confirmed by comparison with literature values of the quantum yield for iodomethane photolysis, returning a quantum yield of Φ(I∗) = 0.71 ± 0.04 in good agreement with the literature, before being applied to determine the I∗ quantum yield following 248 nm and 266 nm photolysis of iodobenzene (Φ(I) = 0.28 ± 0.04) and pentafluoroiodobenzene (Φ(I) = 0.32 ± 0.05). The I quantum yields for 4-fluoroiodobenzene, 2,4-difluoroiodobenzene and 3,5-difluoroiodobenzene are also reported in order to determine the effect of selective fluorination on the dynamics of the photodissociation process. This work complements velocity-map ion imaging studies and spin-orbit resolved ab initio calculations of the ultraviolet photolysis of these compounds. Chapter 3 details the development of a narrow-bandwidth tunable continuous wave ultraviolet radiation source, through sum frequency mixing of tunable near infrared diode lasers with a fixed frequency, high powered, solid state laser. The application of the UV radiation source to spectroscopy of the A 1A2 − X 1A1 electronic band of formaldehyde is explored, where absolute absorption cross sections are determined for rotational transitions within the 220410 and 220430 vibronic bands. The sub-Doppler resolution has allowed refinement of the rotational constants for the slowly predissociating excited state of the 220430 vibronic band. The lifetimes of several rotational levels is determined to be in the range 0.74 ns to 1.46 ns. In Chapter 4 the UV radiation source developed in Chapter 3 is applied to the A 2Σ+ − X 2Π electronic band of the OH radical. Firstly, this source is utilised to probe a continuous supply of hydroxyl radicals using cavity-enhanced absorption spectroscopy and wavelength modulation spectroscopy. Pressure induced broadening parameters for the Q1(2) rotational transition for He, Ne, Ar and N2 buffer gases are also measured. Following the successful application of this source to probe a continuous OH source at atmospheric pressure, the UV spectrometer is used to probe OH radicals from nitric acid photolysis at 193 nm, where the nascent speed distribution and Doppler lineshape is shown to be in excellent agreement with the literature. Time resolved absorption spectroscopy of the nascent OH fragment also returns a translational relaxation constant of ktrans = (3.85±1.06)×10−10cm3molecule−1s−1, which is in good agreement with literature values. These preliminary results indicate the potential of this narrow-bandwidth tunable UV source as an absorption-spectroscopy-based probe of nascent Doppler profiles. Chapter 5 presents the application of frequency-modulated radiation from a near infrared diode laser as a probe of the angular momentum polarisation of the nascent CN fragments, produced by 266 nm photolysis of ICN. These CN fragments are probed in the high rotational states of both the ground and first excited vibrational level on the A 2Π − X 2Σ+ electronic transition; in particular these constitute the first measurements of alignment and orientation in the first excited vibrational level at this photolysis wavelength. The alignment parameters reported for both vibrational levels are comparable, indicating that the incoherent dynamics contributing to their formation are the same. In contrast, the orientation of the v = 1 CN fragment is shown to be of opposite sign to that of v = 0 at this photolysis wavelength, although the absolute differences in their orientation parameters are similar to that observed for photolysis at 248 nm. This observation is consistent with coherent orientation arising from phase differences between wavepackets propagating on multiple excited potential energy surfaces.
Supervisor: Ritchie, G. A. D. Sponsor: Natural Environment Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Photochemistry and reaction dynamics ; Physical & theoretical chemistry ; Laser Spectroscopy ; Physical Sciences ; Atmospheric chemistry ; Spectroscopy and molecular structure ; laser ; spectroscopy ; photodissociation ; iodocyanide ; formaldehyde