In this project in the Experimental Physical Chemistry Program of the Chemistry Division, Prof. Delroy Baugh of the University of California at Los Angeles will conduct experiments on state-to-state studies of fast photo-initiated unimolecular reactions. The goal of these studies is to determine structural and dynamical information regarding the molecular fragmentation process with an emphasis on separating the role of nuclear dynamics from that of the electronic orbital effects. By selecting the states of the parent and resolving the state of the products, Baugh can obtain an unprecedented degree of detail that allows stringent testing of electronic structure computations and quantal scattering methodology.
This research is directed at determining the potential energy surfaces that control elementary chemical reactions. Molecules are initially prepared in well-defined quantum states, which allows detailed tracking of the reaction process. The results of this work will play a significant role in validating existing theories of chemical reactions on the molecular level. Insights into atmospheric or combustion chemistry may be expected to result from these studies.