Thesis: An investigation of gas-phase clusters of atmospheric interest using anion photoelectron spectroscopy and ab initio techniques
My aims in this project are to investigate the gas-phase complexes in the form of a ligand gas such as nitrogen, nitrogen monoxide or nitrous oxide, clustering to a halide core (such as chloride, bromide and iodide).
These complexes will be studied experimentally using anion photoelectron spectroscopy with our home-built time-of-flight mass spectrometer coupled to a time-of-flight photoelectron spectrometer. Photoelectrons ejected from these clusters (through laser excitation) inherit energetic properties, which are useful for determining bond strengths and for potential energy surfaces. As more of the gas clusters around the halide it is also possible to discern the stabilising effect it has on the halide, and leads into solvation effects.
Supporting ab initio calculations model the complexes' structures and energies, which are compared to experimental data. This comparison both improves the theory behind the computational calculations and helps to elucidate the experimental results.
Why my research is important
Some of these complexes have never been studied before, and others have never been investigated with the techniques used in this project. Results from this project provide fundamental knowledge such as bond dissociation energies, chemical reactivity and information on the reactive potential energy surface. These clusters are also of interest in areas such as environmental chemistry, intermediate chemistry and cluster science.