Hydroxyl super rotors from vacuum ultraviolet photodissociation of water

Yao Chang, Yong Yu, Heilong Wang, Xixi Hu, Qinming Li, Jiayue Yang, Shu Su, Zhigang He, Zhichao Chen, Li Che, Xingan Wang, Weiqing Zhang, Guorong Wu, Daiqian Xie, Michael N.R. Ashfold, Kaijun Yuan*, Xueming Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)
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Hydroxyl radicals (OH) play a central role in the interstellar medium. Here, we observe highly rotationally excited OH radicals with energies above the bond dissociation energy, termed OH “super rotors”, from the vacuum ultraviolet photodissociation of water. The most highly excited OH(X) super rotors identified at 115.2 nm photolysis have an internal energy of 4.86 eV. A striking enhancement in the yield of vibrationally-excited OH super rotors is detected when exciting the bending vibration of the water molecule. Theoretical analysis shows that bending excitation enhances the probability of non-adiabatic coupling between the B~ and X~ states of water at collinear O–H–H geometries following fast internal conversion from the initially excited D~ state. The present study illustrates a route to produce extremely rotationally excited OH(X) radicals from vacuum ultraviolet water photolysis, which may be related to the production of the highly rotationally excited OH(X) radicals observed in the interstellar medium.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1250
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2019


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