Photodissociation of azulene at 193 nm: ab initio and RRKM study

J Phys Chem A. 2005 Oct 6;109(39):8774-84. doi: 10.1021/jp053218m.


The ab initio/Rice-Ramsperger-Kassel-Marcus (RRKM) approach has been applied to investigate the photodissociation mechanism of azulene at 6.4 eV (the laser wavelength of 193 nm) upon absorption of one UV photon followed by internal conversion into the ground electronic state. Reaction pathways leading to various decomposition products have been mapped out at the G3(MP2,CC)//B3LYP level and then the RRKM and microcanonical variational transition state theories have been applied to compute rate constants for individual reaction steps. Relative product yields (branching ratios) for the dissociation products have been calculated using the steady-state approach. The results show that photoexcited azulene can readily isomerize to naphthalene and the major dissociation channel is elimination of an H-atom from naphthalene. The branching ratio of this channel decreases with an increase of the photon energy. Acetylene elimination is the second probable reaction channel and its branching ratio rises as the photon energy increases. The main C8H6 fragments at 193 nm are phenylacetylene and pentalene and the yield of the latter grows fast with the increasing excitation energy.