Reactions between cold methyl halide molecules and alkali-metal atoms.

Research paper by Jesse J JJ Lutz, Jeremy M JM Hutson

Indexed on: 15 Jan '14Published on: 15 Jan '14Published in: The Journal of chemical physics


We investigate the potential energy surfaces and activation energies for reactions between methyl halide molecules CH3X (X = F, Cl, Br, I) and alkali-metal atoms A (A = Li, Na, K, Rb) using high-level ab initio calculations. We examine the anisotropy of each intermolecular potential energy surface (PES) and the mechanism and energetics of the only available exothermic reaction pathway, CH3X + A → CH3 + AX. The region of the transition state is explored using two-dimensional PES cuts and estimates of the activation energies are inferred. Nearly all combinations of methyl halide and alkali-metal atom have positive barrier heights, indicating that reactions at low temperatures will be slow.