Identification of the D(3h) isomer of carbon trioxide (CO3) and its implications for atmospheric chemistry

Chemphyschem. 2006 Dec 11;7(12):2508-13. doi: 10.1002/cphc.200600390.


The CO3 molecule is considered an important reaction intermediate in the atmospheres of Earth and Mars for quenching electronically excited oxygen atoms and in contributing to the anomalous 18O isotope enrichment. The geometry of the CO3 intermediate plays an important role in explaining these effects; however, only the cyclic (C(2v)) isomer has been experimentally confirmed so far. Here, we report on the first spectroscopic detection of the acyclic (D(3h)) isomer of carbon trioxide (12C16O3) via its nu1 and nu2 vibrational modes centered around 1165 cm(-1) under matrix isolation conditions; the identification of the 12C18O3, 13C16O3, 13C18O3, 16O12C18O2, and 18O12C16O2 isotopomers of the acyclic isomer confirms the assignments.