Description: The gas phase reactions of atomic chlorine with hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, benzene, and ethylene are investigated using the laser flash photolysis / resonance fluorescence experimental technique. In addition, the kinetics of the reverse processes for the latter two elementary reactions are also studied experimentally. The absolute rate constants for these processes are measured over a wide range of conditions, and the results offer new accurate information about the reactivity and thermochemistry of these systems. The temperature dependences of these reactions are interpreted via the Arrhenius equation, which yields significantly negative activation energies for the reaction of the chlorine atom and hydrogen sulfide as well as for that between the phenyl radical and hydrogen chloride. Positive activation energies which are smaller than the overall endothermicity are measured for the reactions between atomic chlorine with ammonia and ethylene, which suggests that the reverse processes for these reactions also possess negative activation energies. The enthalpies of formation of the phenyl and β-chlorovinyl are assessed via the third-law method. The stability and reactivity of each reaction system is further rationalized based on potential energy surfaces, computed with high-level ab initio quantum mechanical methods and refined through the inclusion of effects which arise from the special theory of relativity. Large amounts of spin-contamination are found to result in inaccurate computed thermochemistry for the phenyl and ethyl radicals. A reformulation of the computational approach to incorporate spin-restricted reference wavefunctions yields computed thermochemistry in good accord with experiment. The computed potential energy surfaces rationalize the observed negative temperature dependences in terms of a chemical activation mechanism, and the possibility that an energized adduct may contribute to product formation is investigated via RRKM theory.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Alecu, Ionut M.
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Partner: UNT Libraries