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Laser Chemistry


Department of Chemistry


The technique of Multiphoton Induced Chemistry (MPIC) has been employed to initiate ion-molecule chemistry of organic molecules in solution. We report one of the first examples of the use of liquid phase multiphoton ionization (MPI) to prepare organic cations, which then react with the solvent in ionmolecule processes. The products obtained in this chemical sequence are significantly different from those observed in conventional or multiphoton-induced neutral chemistry in the same solvent. The particular example explored in this work is the reactivity of the nitrobenzene cation in methanol solvent. Products of the ion-molecule chemistry, detected by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, are phenol and benzyl alcohol. These products depend upon the square of the laser intensity. It is shown by ionization current measurements in a conductance cell, that ionic species are produced as precursors to the observed products. The implications of this application of MPI are briefly discussed. A preliminary report on the unimolecular chemistry of the highly excited neutral molecule is also included. The product of this channel is nitrosobenzene. It is shown, in this case, that the reactive state is most likely a highly vibrationally excited ground state molecule, not the lowest triplet level invoked in conventional photochemistry.



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