Indexed on: 10 Apr '14Published on: 10 Apr '14Published in: The Journal of chemical physics
We compare rotationally inelastic scattering of deuterated methyl radicals (CD3) and ammonia (ND3) in collisions with helium using close-coupling quantum-mechanical scattering calculations performed with ab initio potential energy surfaces (PESs). The theoretical methods have been rigorously tested against angle-resolved experimental measurements obtained using crossed molecular beam apparatuses in combination with velocity map imaging [O. Tkáč, A. G. Sage, S. J. Greaves, A. J. Orr-Ewing, P. J. Dagdigian, Q. Ma, and M. H. Alexander, Chem. Sci. 4, 4199 (2013); O. Tkáč, A. K. Saha, J. Onvlee, C.-H. Yang, G. Sarma, C. K. Bishwakarma, S. Y. T. van de Meerakker, A. van der Avoird, D. H. Parker, and A. J. Orr-Ewing, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 16, 477 (2014)]. Common features of the scattering dynamics of these two symmetric top molecules, one closed-shell and the other an open-shell radical, are identified and discussed. Two types of anisotropies in the PES influence the interaction of an atom with a nonlinear polyatomic molecule. The effects of these anisotropies can be clearly seen in the state-to-state integral cross sections out of the lowest CD3 rotational levels of each nuclear spin symmetry at a collision energy of 440 cm(-1). Similarities and differences in the differential cross sections for the ND3-He and CD3-He systems can be linked to the coupling terms derived from the PESs which govern particular initial to final rotational level transitions.