Free-Jet Vibration-Rotation Spectroscopy of Unstable Species

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. William Polik, Hope College

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Vibration-rotation spectroscopy is used to characterize molecular potential energy surfaces and thereby describe chemical interactions. Unstable species are highly reactive and electronically complex, making them valuable spectroscopic targets. However, such species must be created during the measurement process. This experiment uses an electric discharge nozzle to fragment a precursor molecule which is then analyzed using laser spectroscopy. Conversion between TTL and CMOS logic levels is necessary to ensure synchronization between production and observation of unstable species. Both fluorescence excitation and dispersed fluorescence spectra of dichlorocarbene (:CCl2) were recorded. Vibrational levels of the ground electronic state have been assigned from these spectra.

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