Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.Sc.)




Nathanial M Kidwell

Committee Member

John C Poutsma

Committee Member

Elizabeth J. Harbron


Potential energy surfaces describing bimolecular collisions sensitively depend on the chemical functionality and the relative orientation of colliding partners, thus defining the accessibly reactive and nonreactive pathways. Herein, we investigate the peculiar product outcomes arising from Jahn-Teller distortion of the nitric oxide and methane complex (NO-CH4). We have reported an in-depth spectroscopic and dynamics study of NO-CH4 by utilizing conformation-specific and action spectroscopy, as well as velocity map imaging, to understand the fundamental dissociative mechanisms at play. Ultimately, we have gained information about how the Jahn Teller effect possibly impacts the potential product energy transfer pathways. There is a translationally slow pathway that arises from effective vibration-vibration energy transfer into the 2v4 mode of methane, which occurs on a fast timescale (<2.5 ps). In addition, there is translationally fast pathway that arises from NO and CH4 being able to sample more of their respective energy space, leading to rotational broadening and a slow dissociative timescale (>2.5 ps). The distinctly varied product outcomes provide important experimental signatures of a Jahn Teller distorted equilibrium geometry and the ranging effects it can have.



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