Unimolecular decomposition of chemically activated pentatetraene (H2CCCCCH2) intermediates: A crossed beams study of dicarbon molecule reactions with allene

J Phys Chem A. 2006 Sep 21;110(37):10699-707. doi: 10.1021/jp062447l.


The reactions dynamics of the dicarbon molecule C2 in the 1Sigma (g)+ singlet ground state and 3Pi(u) first excited triplet state with allene, H2CCCH2(X1A1), was investigated under single collision conditions using the crossed molecular beam approach at four collision energies between 13.6 and 49.4 kJ mol(-1). The experiments were combined with ab initio electronic structure calculations of the relevant stationary points on the singlet and triplet potential energy surfaces. Our investigations imply that the reactions are barrier-less and indirect on both the singlet and the triplet surfaces and proceed through bound C5H4 intermediates via addition of the dicarbon molecule to the carbon-carbon double bond (singlet surface) and to the terminal as well as central carbon atoms of the allene molecule (triplet surface). The initial collision complexes isomerize to form triplet and singlet pentatetraene intermediates (H2CCCCCH2) that decompose via atomic hydrogen loss to yield the 2,4-pentadiynyl-1 radical, HCCCCCH2(X2B1). These channels result in symmetric center-of-mass angular distributions. On the triplet surface, a second channel involves the existence of a nonsymmetric reaction intermediate (HCCCH2CCH) that fragments through atomic hydrogen emission to the 1,4-pentadiynyl-3 radical [C5H3(X2B1)HCCCHCCH]; this pathway was found to account for the backward scattered center-of-mass angular distributions at higher collision energies. The identification of two resonance-stabilized free C5H3 radicals (i.e., 2,4-pentadiynyl-1 and 1,4-pentadiynyl-3) suggests that these molecules can be important transient species in combustion flames and in the chemical evolution of the interstellar medium.