Time-resolved velocity map imaging of methyl elimination from photoexcited anisole

Department of Chemistry, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK.
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics (Impact Factor: 4.2). 03/2011; 13(10):4494-9. DOI: 10.1039/c0cp02429e
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To date, H-atom elimination from heteroaromatic molecules following UV excitation has been extensively studied, with the focus on key biological molecules such as chromophores of DNA bases and amino acids. Extending these studies to look at elimination of other non-hydride photoproducts is essential in creating a more complete picture of the photochemistry of these biomolecules in the gas-phase. To this effect, CH(3) elimination in anisole has been studied using time-resolved velocity map imaging (TR-VMI) for the first time, providing both time and energy information on the dynamics following photoexcitation at 200 nm. The extra dimension of energy afforded by these measurements has enabled us to address the role of πσ* states in the excited state dynamics of anisole as compared to the hydride counterpart (phenol), providing strong evidence to suggest that only CH(3) fragments eliminated with high kinetic energy are due to direct dissociation involving a (1)πσ* state. These measurements also suggest that indirect mechanisms such as statistical unimolecular decay could be contributing to the dynamics at much longer times.

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