Chemical dynamics of the formation of the 1,3-butadiynyl radical (C4H(X2Sigma+)) and its isotopomers

J Phys Chem A. 2006 Oct 5;110(39):11265-78. doi: 10.1021/jp063256l.


The reaction of dicarbon molecules in their electronic ground, C2(X1Sigma(g)+), and first excited state, C2(a3Pi(u)), with acetylene, C2H2(X1Sigma(g)+), to synthesize the 1,3-butadiynyl radical, C4H(X2Sigma+), plus a hydrogen atom was investigated at six different collision energies between 10.6 and 47.5 kJ mol(-1) under single collision conditions. These studies were contemplated by crossed molecular beam experiments of dicarbon with three acetylene isotopomers C2D2(X1Sigma(g)+), C2HD (X1Sigma+), and 13C2H2(X1Sigma(g)+) to elucidate the role of intersystem crossing (ISC) and of the symmetry of the reaction intermediate(s) on the center-of-mass functions. On the singlet surface, dicarbon was found to react with acetylene through an indirect reaction mechanism involving a diacetylene intermediate. The latter fragmented via a loose exit transition state via an emission of a hydrogen atom to form the 1,3-butadiynyl radical C4H(X2Sigma+). The D(infinity)(h) symmetry of the decomposing diacetylene intermediate results in collision-energy invariant, isotropic (flat) center-of-mass angular distributions of this microchannel. Isotopic substitution experiments suggested that at least at a collision energy of 29 kJ mol(-1), the diacetylene isotopomers are long-lived with respect to their rotational periods. On the triplet surface, the reaction involved three feasible addition complexes located in shallower potential energy wells as compared to singlet diacetylene. The involvement of the triplet surface accounted for the asymmetry of the center-of-mass angular distributions. The detection of the 1,3-butadiynyl radical, C4H(X2Sigma+), in the crossed beam reaction of dicarbon molecules with acetylene presents compelling evidence that the 1,3-butadiynyl radical can be formed via bimolecular reactions involving carbon clusters in extreme environments such as circumstellar envelopes of dying carbon stars and combustion flames.