Energy distribution in selected fragment vibrations in dissociation processes in polyatomic molecules

Yehuda B. Band, Karl F. Freed

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26 Scopus citations


The full quantum theory of dissociation processes in polyatomic molecules is converted to a form enabling the isolation of a selected fragment vibration. This form enables the easy evaluation of the probability distribution for energy partitioning between this vibration and all other degrees of freedom that results from the sudden Franck-Condon rearrangement process. The resultant Franck-Condon factors involve the square of the one-dimensional overlap integral between effective oscillator wavefunctions and the wavefunctions for the selected fragment vibration, a form that resembles the simple golden rule model for polyatomic dissociation and reaction processes. The full quantum theory can, therefore, be viewed as providing both a rigorous justification for certain generic aspects of the simple golden rule model as well as providing a number of important generalizations thereof. Some of these involve dealing with initial bound state vibrational excitation, explicit molecule, fragment and energy dependence of the effective oscillator, and the incorporation of all isotopic dependence. In certain limiting situations the full quantum theory yields simple, readily usable analytic expressions for the frequency and equilibrium position of the effective oscillator. Specific applications are presented for the direct photodissociation of HCN, DCN, and CO2 where comparisons between the full theory and the simple golden rule are presented. We also discuss the generalizations of the previous theory to enable the incorporation of effects of distortion in the normal modes as a function of the reaction coordinate on the repulsive potential energy surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1462-1472
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1977
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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