Kinetics of n-butoxy and 2-pentoxy isomerization and detection of primary products by infrared cavity ringdown spectroscopy

Matthew K. Sprague, Eva R. Garland, Andrew K. Mollner, Claire Bloss, Brian D. Bean, Marissa L. Weichman, Laura A. Mertens, Mitchio Okumura, Stanley P. Sander

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8 Scopus citations


The primary products of n-butoxy and 2-pentoxy isomerization in the presence and absence of O 2 have been detected using pulsed laser photolysis-cavity ringdown spectroscopy (PLP-CRDS). Alkoxy radicals n-butoxy and 2-pentoxy were generated by photolysis of alkyl nitrite precursors (n-butyl nitrite or 2-pentyl nitrite, respectively), and the isomerization products with and without O 2 were detected by infrared cavity ringdown spectroscopy 20 μs after the photolysis. We report the mid-IR OH stretch (ν 1) absorption spectra for δ-HO-1-C 4H 8•, δ-HO-1-C 4H 8OO•, δ-HO-1-C 5H 10•, and δ-HO-1-C 5H 10OO•. The observed ν 1 bands are similar in position and shape to the related alcohols (n-butanol and 2-pentanol), although the HOROO• absorption is slightly stronger than the HOR• absorption. We determined the rate of isomerization relative to reaction with O 2 for the n-butoxy and 2-pentoxy radicals by measuring the relative ν 1 absorbance of HOROO• as a function of [O 2]. At 295 K and 670 Torr of N 2 or N 2/O 2, we found rate constant ratios of k isom/kO 2= 1.7 (±0.1) × 10 19 cm -3 for n-butoxy and k isom/kO 2 = 3.4(±0.4) × 10 19 cm -3 for 2-pentoxy (2σ uncertainty). Using currently known rate constants kO 2, we estimate isomerization rates of k isom = 2.4 (±1.2) × 10 5 s -1 and k isom ≈ 3 × 10 5 s -1 for n-butoxy and 2-pentoxy radicals, respectively, where the uncertainties are primarily due to uncertainties in kO 2. Because isomerization is predicted to be in the high pressure limit at 670 Torr, these relative rates are expected to be the same at atmospheric pressure. Our results include corrections for prompt isomerization of hot nascent alkoxy radicals as well as reaction with background NO and unimolecular alkoxy decomposition. We estimate prompt isomerization yields under our conditions of 4 ± 2% and 5 ± 2% for n-butoxy and 2-pentoxy formed from photolysis of the alkyl nitrites at 351 nm. Our measured relative rate values are in good agreement with and more precise than previous end-product analysis studies conducted on the n-butoxy and 2-pentoxy systems. We show that reactions typically neglected in the analysis of alkoxy relative kinetics (decomposition, recombination with NO, and prompt isomerization) may need to be included to obtain accurate values of k isom/kO 2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6327-6340
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 21 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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